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Looking for People in All the Right Places

Meeting people in college can be a stressful anticipation that keeps any high school student awake at night. But new friends can be found anywhere, if you know where to look.

Meeting people in college can be a stressful anticipation that keeps any high school student awake at night. This might be because, toward the end, we lose people along the way. The friends and companions collected at the beginning of high school freshman year are sometimes never the same people making the walk with us at graduation. People come and people go, but when we ourselves are the ones in foreign territory alone, somehow we doubt that there are people who will come again.

But they do.

These new humans are everywhere, if you know where to look. Depending on who you are, your exploration locations for new people could be all over campus: the cafeteria, the gym, the library, the bookstore, lounges in major buildings, game rooms, basketball courts, swimming pools, coffee shops, or even the lobby of your own dorm. You name it, and I assure you, your campus has it.

And if you can’t find a single human being who strikes up a conversation with you in any of these places, there is another option. The simplest and easiest way to meet people is to the right, left, below, and/or above your own dorm room. That’s right, they are less than 10 feet away! There will be students everywhere, unloading and unpacking their lives just like yourself.

Go knock on some doors! Climb those steps or ride that elevator and start introducing your awesome self. Want to stay a little closer to home? Leave your own door open while you get things ready for the school year. Unpacking and decorating? Leave that door wide open where people will be able to come and go, stick their heads politely in and say “hi”! And, if you’re lucky, they’ll see your Game of Thrones poster or your Doctor Who coffee mug. Maybe they’ll notice you’re wearing a Red Wings jersey or making space for your PlayStation. Invite them to hang out, share your Doritos, and play a game of Cards Against Humanity! Icebreakers are everywhere, and if they’re looking for people like you are, they’ll jump at the golden opportunity to start talking about it. To you.

Yes, you, the kid who was too afraid to believe that meeting people was as easy as exploring campus (you were going to do that anyway) and leaving the door open while you make that popcorn to watch just one more episode. As a similarly situated student like yourself, I too understand the fear of meeting new people. Or even worse, meeting no one. But it’s impossible to meet absolutely no one, unless you’re really, really making that your goal. So please, friend. Get out there, and know that if you’re too nervous to do absolutely anything else, just knock on a few doors, say hi, and then retreat to the comfort of your own space.

Remember that the best part of going to a university is filling that space of yours with amazing people who you’ll keep around for at the very least four whole years of your life.

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About Shelby Sullivan

Shelby Sullivan is a freshman attending Grand Valley State University. Born in Michigan, living in Michigan, and now attending university in Michigan fuels her dream of one day traveling the world and seeing new things. Her writing begins with small journals that date back to age seven, then longer manuscripts in an old Dell computer tower, and now plenty of pieces stored in her laptop and posted online. Shelby hopes to be fluent in at least three languages other than English before she dies, and to have written a real novel that she can publish and display on her bookshelf.


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