Getting Past the First Week Freshman Orientation Huddle
During the first few weeks on a college campus, you can always spot the freshmen. They’re wandering over to the cafeteria together in a big huddle of 5 or 10 or 20 people from their dorm. They don’t know anybody else, so for the time being, the people they met during orientation week are their lifelines and their best friends.
There’s nothing wrong with this. I did it too. It’s a normal human reaction to a stressful situation– find others and hold on for dear life, at least for awhile. And don’t pay any attention to the upperclassmen who are making fun of you for traveling in a freshman pack. They did it too.
Obviously, though, you’re not going to be wandering around with these massive collections of people until you graduate. So what happens now?
Some students make the mistake of hanging on too closely to the students they meet on their floor during orientation week. Perhaps the “clique” thing may feel like a comfortable transition from high school, and it’s easy to latch onto the first one that comes along. Or perhaps they’re just shy and freaked about about going off to college, so looking for new friends seems like more than they can handle.
Don’t make this mistake. Sure, for the sake of sanity, you want to remain friendly with the folks on your floor, and it’s entirely likely you’ll find a lifelong buddy or two who just happened to get a room down the hall from you. But one of the greatest parts about going to college is the opportunity to meet new people and to explore new interests. To do this, you need to break free of the first week freshman orientation huddle.