Once high school graduation comes and goes, the overwhelming stress of college being less than three months away will likely hit you like a brick wall, as it did to me. The pressure of starting completely fresh can be daunting, especially if it is your first time being the “new kid,” but at a gigantic university instead of grade school.
The most common stressors during this transition are finding a roommate, making friends, moving into a dorm and moving away from loved ones. There is no secret or easy way around any of these troubles, but there are some tips and tricks that can make these difficulties easier and make for a less stressful summer.
Join the Virginia Tech Class of 2023 Facebook page
Facebook may seem a bit outdated today, but I can promise you that meeting new people all starts on this page. If you were like me and haven’t used Facebook since middle school, I recommend updating your profile picture before you join.
Basically, it is the trend to post a few pictures of yourself and write a paragraph describing your likes and interests. The majority of people include their social media tags as well with the hopes of people messaging them to consider rooming together or to become friends.
It can be so easy to follow a template of the hundreds of others who post, which will not make you stand out. I encourage you to pick your coolest pictures that showcase your hobbies and traits that make you unique, and maybe include a joke or two that will draw attention to your post.
Reach out to people
There is no shame in messaging first when you come across a post of someone who you feel like you could genuinely vibe with. It is important to understand that the anxiousness that you feel is what everyone else is feeling. Everyone is hoping people will react to their post and follow their social media just as you are.
When it comes to finding a roommate, do not be embarrassed to put yourself out there and introduce yourself. You should never pass up a potential roommate because you are nervous of their reaction. It’s more than likely that they will be excited that someone has shown interest in them.
Join Snapchat group chats
The most fun way I met people the summer before my freshman year was joining as many Snapchat groups as I could. People will often post about them in the Facebook page and members of the group will comment their Snapchat usernames.
Once someone creates the chat, everyone gets to know each other and it is a very easy way to make friends. It pays off on your first days in college, as you will without a doubt see familiar faces around campus from these group chats.
I encourage you to not be a bystander and actually participate in the conversations. This way, people will recognize you once the semester begins and you will likely find people in your major with similar interests as you.
It can be scary transitioning to college without someone to talk to. Many people already in college are open to sharing their personal experiences and answering all of your questions. If you don’t want to wait until orientation, you can talk to anyone, no matter the university, about your concerns.
Once you get to orientation, you will be assigned a leader whose job is to answer your questions. When you get here, use them to your advantage and don’t be shy. Also don’t be afraid to reach out to your orientation leaders to grab a cup of coffee after you start school – they can be great resources to have when you’re new to campus.
From experience, I can tell you that it is way too easy to start acting like someone you’re not. It is difficult in general to be yourself fully through the phone, but it is not difficult to stop yourself from lying about your interests or preferences to fit a profile.
The worst result of not being yourself would be committing to rooming with someone who is not anything at all like you, which is why it is so important. If you act yourself, you will find someone who accepts you for you who can easily turn out to be your best friend.
The summer after senior year is supposed to be the time to make the best memories before you leave your hometown. Don’t stress too much, as there are plenty of resources specifically for you to make the transition as smooth and fun as possible.
Don’t be afraid to show your true colors and put yourself out there. It may be uncomfortable at first, but use these few months to push yourself because it is all rewarding once August is here.