Finding your place at college

Whether you are a rising high school senior, transferring from another college, an international student, or going back to college after being in the workforce; you’re probably wondering exactly how you will fit in at college. College can be scary for anyone especially if you are going without knowing anyone.

Today we’ll discuss some tips to success in fitting in at college.

First Impressions

Everyone has heard how important first impressions can be, and you will find this to be true in college just as anywhere else. A study by Harvard concluded that it takes less than 15 seconds to form a first impression. That’s not very long to make a good impression so it’s important we make the best impression we can. The essential factor in first impressions is looks. Fair or not, that is how most people process new information so it’s important we know what they are looking for. Some questions to consider are; how is my self image, self esteem, body language, attitude, and appearance? All of these characteristics add up to define ourselves and are critical to making a good first impression. To give the very best impression, it’s important that you portray confidence everywhere you go. Also, Making yourself approachable to others will go a long way. Just a simple nod, or hi, how are you will ensure you are making a good first impression. Looking people in the eyes is important too. This shows your attention is on them and you are interested in what they have to say. Another important factor in first impressions is our attitude. Not many people will want to be friendly with a person who is unhappy and distant in their conversations. Instead, you should try to portray that you are happy to be talking to them and show good body language. Think to yourself I’m approachable, and people will pick up on that.


Another way to make sure we fit in at college is clubs. There is a club for just about everything at college. If you are an international student, there is probably many clubs that fit you too! A good tip is to familiarize yourself with your college website. Most clubs will have their information posted there, and you can see which ones interest you the most. Perhaps you are scared to show up alone, but it’s important that you show courage and make the step. A lot of others are feeling the same way, and you will find it very easy to make many friends in clubs.

Greek Life

Greek life is another very good way to fit in at college, especially if you are an international student. Greek life offers a support structure that helps you have success in University life. You’ll be able to meet lots of new people from different backgrounds that will be able to help you in many ways; from college activities, study help, and so much more. Greek life also offers many leadership opportunities and community service events. Many of our top business leaders today were members of one when they were in college. To find the best Greek life that fits you, go to one of the houses and get to know some of the members. The most important thing about fitting in at college is just going out there and participating in every way you can. Try to stay in your dorm as little as possible, and that will help you find success in University life.

College Fears

Whether you are starting college for the first time, or transferring to a new college it is normal to have some college fears. Having fears is actually a good thing because it shows you actually care about how you will perform at university. One common fear that college students face is living with roommates.

What if I get a bad roommate?

For a lot of people getting into a university is your choice, but who your roommate is isn’t. If you have been assigned a random roommate, remember you are both in the same situation. Your roommate is probably just as worried as you are. Try to approach the situation just as you would when you normally meet a new person. Try to make an attempt to get to know them, keep communication open, and show them respect. If you can do that, it will make your living together so much easier. Also, realize that you will only be rooming together for one year, so try to make it be as enjoyable as possible. It’s not necessary to hangout with your roommate all the time, but making an attempt to hang out occasionally is a good idea. You may find out that your roommate is the total opposite of yourself. If that’s the case, the good news is most of your time will be spent outside the dorm. There is so much to do at college that you will likely find the only time you are in your dorm is when you are sleeping. If worse comes to worse and you find it is impossible to live together, you can always speak to an RA or housing and they should allow you to switch roommates.

Another fear you may face when you get to university is difficulty of classes.

Are college classes a lot harder?

Well to put it simply, they aren’t easy. In college, study skills for students are put to the test. In high school it may have been easy to zip through a project and make a decent grade, but at university you will find your good is just not good enough. College professors hold you to a much higher standard and will expect you to show professionalism at all times. This is because they are trying to prepare you for the real world where your must perform at your best at all times. The most important thing to remember is; try your best. If you find a certain class to be difficult, try to take advantage of all the study help that is available such as study sessions and tutoring. Meeting with classmates outside of class to discuss the material is also really beneficial; especially before a big test.