Socializing on campus

Since the UIC Confessions Facebook page has been brought back over the summer, I found myself not as interested in it. Why? Because it seems like a lot of the page is flooded with students complaining that they don’t have any friends on campus. I do realize that sometimes students tend to feel “disconnected” from campus and their peers due to UIC being a commuter-based school. But I ask myself: why is socializing a big problem on campus? What can we do to rid of this connotation?

Whenever I walk to class, I notice that many students (myself included) have their headphones in. I personally like jamming out before class, simply because it helps me feel motivated and sane. But walking with your headphones on also disconnects you from everyone else around you. What if someone from the class that your heading to always takes the same route as you and wants to walk and talk about how much you hate (or love) your class? Or what if someone just thinks you look awesome and wants to chat? All of these opportunities disappear because many of us have our headphones in.

I personally have no complaint about feeling disconnected from campus. Since my freshman year, I feel like UIC is a part of me. This is probably because I am heavily involved in extracurriculars. But what about other people who feel disconnected? Isn’t the simple answer to just GET INVOLVED? I’ve preached this so many times, but what is the big apprehension behind joining a student organization? If you feel like you are one of those people who feel disconnected and want to do something about it, then you can find a bunch of organizations to join here.

One of the things I found to be most effective in meeting people outside of my extracurricular activities is sitting next to someone new in class. This was especially useful during my first couple years at UIC. Whenever I had a new class, I made sure that I sat somewhere new every class session so that I can interact with new, exciting people. I can honestly say this was really effective because I’ve met a lot of awesome people and became class buddies with them. I still talk to many of them today! So if you’re scared to get up and talk to someone in the Inner Circle, start by sitting next to someone new in class.

There are many ways to make friends, or even soul mates, on campus. Just swallow your pride or embarrassment and speak up – bite the bullet! Take the first step by doing something about it, rather than sitting on a computer talking about it.

Until next time…

Mike

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