A word of advice from a sophomore to the first-years

During the first week on campus, I overheard numerous conversations among the first graders about not knowing how to adjust to campus life and make friends. Although it might seem like the end of the world when you’re dropped off in a brand new environment and need to build a brand new routine with brand new people, speaking from my experience as a sophomore, you just have to give it time.

I know, I know. That’s the classic advice you’ll get from your family and pretty much everyone else, but it has a lot of truth in it.

While most might not admit it, almost everyone misses home a little, gets nervous about making new friends, and struggles with the transition to college as a whole.

Adapting to this change means building a solid routine for the school year. School days can be long and painful as you have to attend classes, complete assignments and study for exams. So I suggest filling the rest of your day with things you enjoy.

Integrating hobbies and interests into your daily routine can almost always turn your mood around by giving you something to look forward to. I joined The Miami Student and took training classes at the Rec to meet some new people I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.

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Additionally, sitting down to work on schoolwork at Armstrong Student Center, the King Library, or Starbucks can make a world of difference even if you’re not sitting with anyone. Whether it was getting my daily dose of human interaction or needing motivation to be productive, this has been one of my goals for the past year.

Being surrounded by people who are also trying to get their work done is so much better than sitting alone in your dorm room.

As far as societal transition goes, you just have to face it. Everyone’s in the same boat, so why not introduce yourself to the person standing next to you in line at Starbucks or sitting next to you in class?

One of the biggest things that helped me find “my people” was storming a fraternity. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hurry, but I’m so glad I did because I’ve developed so many close friendships that I probably wouldn’t have made otherwise.

When I lived in Peabody Hall last year, it was so easy to just stay in my dorm and not interact with people. I had a solid routine for getting work done and exercising, but I wasn’t hanging out with friends as often as I should have.

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After I got tired of always feeling so isolated, I made an effort to go to the dining room or study with friends almost every day. Although it might seem like a small change, it has made my everyday life so much better.

Now that I’m finally in the middle of campus in the dorms, I’m constantly surrounded by my friends, so there’s always someone to study or have lunch with. Not only do I love my circumstances this year, I love my everyday life even more. I’ve been able to go back to what I did last semester, but now that I’m so much closer to everything, I don’t need 15 minutes to go to class or the gym.

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Making positive changes in my daily life and making an effort to meet real people last year got me to where I am now in my second year. This summer I was more than excited to return to Oxford to resume my beloved routine.

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Although it sounds hard to believe, I definitely missed sitting down with my friends on a Sunday and doing schoolwork!

I know the advice sounds repetitive and cheesy, but step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to the people on campus, get out of your dorm, and do something you love every day. It’s easy to fall into a slump when your schedule is the same week after week, so give yourself something to look forward to, whether it’s joining a new club or even grabbing a bite to eat with a new friend.

The first year of college shouldn’t be easy, even if it looks like some don’t struggle as much as others. Your first year is about figuring out how you are functioning individually now that you are away from home in order to prepare for the years to come.

As of this writing, I’m only a week into my sophomore year, but I’ve done a full 180 from last year in terms of feeling comfortable on campus. You just have to give it time and “trust the process”.

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