Katie Morris is a first-year student at PLNU, currently living on campus.
On Sept. 12 and 13, 526 students moved onto PLNU’s campus, with the majority being first-year students. Moving away from parents and siblings after months of quarantine is something many college students may have looked forward to. This is a new page in life where we might expect to find ourselves, meet new people and prepare for our futures.
While the majority of students are likely overjoyed to meet new people, some may be rattled with fear. Though mandatory, masks make it challenging to connect faces with names, and being socially distant can be a real dilemma when groups decide what to do. These factors may add anxieties when meeting new people and connecting within the PLNU community.
“It always feels weird and uncomfortable jumping into something you’ve never experienced,” freshman Emma Frazier said. “Especially when interacting with others in the midst of this pandemic.”
As a first-year student coming from Washington state, I can’t help but relate to my peers who felt intimidated by making new friends. What if my lack of sun-kissed skin and ability to surf is a turn off to the Californians?
Trevor Richardson, freshman biology major, shares how COVID-19 impacted his experience as a student on campus.
“I felt nervous at first because a good number of relationships start in the classroom, and with school being online this year, the ease of making connections with peers was taken away,” Richardson said.
He also turned to Instagram and Zeemee to help establish a solid group of friends to create a family away from home.
The first step to meeting “your people” is by stepping out of your room. Luckily, freshmen on campus have the resources of resident assistants (RAs) to help ease the move, as well as embed themselves into the community of the school. Sammy Lambert, sophomore RA in Hendricks, recommends ways for freshmen to connect with others:
- Remember every new person you meet is a possible new friend.
The fear of wondering whether certain people will accept you or not is legit, but sitting with those thoughts for too long will hinder your ability to put yourself out there.
- If you see someone you think you would get along with, reach out.
Some great places to scope out new friends are your hall, the Caf, Sunset Cliffs and the sports facilities. Hop into a game of volleyball, or ask to sit with someone who is sitting alone. You could make someone’s day by bringing your awesome self to the party.
- Don’t burn yourself out trying to make friends, it will happen organically, and there’s no need to crash.
Yes, college is a grand, exciting experience, and the desire to make friends is at an ultimate high. But make sure to slow down; people want to be friends with others who are at their best, and that means keeping an equilibrium between your school work, health and social life.
- Don’t get discouraged.
Keep in mind you might meet people now who don’t work out later on, but hold on to the fact your people are coming.
Written By: Katie Morris