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.

General Tips

Are you worried about the various requirements for admission into a competitive graduate program?

Here are ten tips that will get you on your way towards a successful admission:

Start preparing ahead of time: this is probably the first and most important step you could take once you decide you want to go to graduate school. You will need years to get all the requirements a  graduate program asks for on your resume, so it’s better you start preparing as soon as possible, preferably in your early undergraduate years.

Keep your grades up: your overall college GPA will probably be the main criterion in your application being accepted for further consideration or simply rejected. So try to do your best each and every semester; it will pay off in the end!

Gain experience in your field of study: most respected graduate programs require you have extensive relevant experience. You can acquire it in your undergraduate years through volunteering, shadowing, internships, directed independent studies, or even jobs.

Show interesting extracurricular activities: admission committees like to consider well rounded students who show exceptional abilities outside their fields of study. Find a hobby if you already don’t have one that would make you stand out from the thousands of applicants.

Earn awards and honors: since you’re already doing all these great things for your graduate school application, try to get recognized for it while in undergraduate school. Winning scholarships, merit awards, or scholastic contests shows that you are already a successful student.

Be part of societies/organizations: being involved in a student organization or being a member of an association in your field shows that you have leadership skills which are required in any respected profession.

Make connections: it is extremely important that you create strong professional relationships with your professors, employees, advisors. These are the people you are going to ask for recommendations, internships, jobs, and most of all mentorship.

Research the schools you are planning to apply to: once you decide which field you are going into, look at some graduate programs you might be interested in. In this way you know exactly their requirements and you can start working on meeting them right away.

Prepare for your admission test: the graduate school admission test scores are as important as the GPA, so you better take them seriously. Whether it is the GRE, MCAT, or GMAT you need to take, they are all challenging and require months of practice.

Plan your time wisely: you already got an idea of how busy your life as a prospective graduate student can be. In only a few years you have to make sure you graduate, you get enough experience, you pass the admission test, and you send in your application and required documents before the deadline.