The 3 Things I Wish I Knew as a Freshman at DePaul
1. You have to go outside your comfort zone to meet new people.
Let’s be real, we all kind of know this. But knowing vs being willing to act on it and put yourself out there are two different things. Class is not the place where you are going to make friends. It’s hard to establish a social connection in a room where mostly one person does the talking (the professor). So you’re going to have to go outside of that setting to meet people. My advice? You should attack this plan two ways.
First, if you live in the dorms, go hang out in the common room. Introduce yourself to the people who walk in. Ask them if they want to go to the dining hall. It might be awkward. Correction, it will be awkward. That friendship might not work out. But it also might. Either way, you have established a connection and are one step closer to meeting the people you want to surround yourself with.
Second, join a club or organization on campus. In my time at DePaul, I joined two organizations, club soccer and a sorority. This is where my friends have come from. I’m the type of person who needs structure, and making friends was no different. I needed a constant place where I would see the same people. Once you make one friend, it’s a lot easier to make a second. And a third. And it’s even easier if all these people also know each other, because then you can all hang out. It was uncomfortable at first when I joined both organizations. Start with one person, and see if that clicks. Ask them to hang out a few times. Eventually, you’ll find yourself where you want to be.
2. The quarter goes by very fast.
Like most humans, I am a creature of habit. I like knowing what each day will look like. I like consistency. Because the quarter system is 10 weeks long, it’s easy to let one slip by without having done the things you set out to do that quarter. Specifically, your workout plans. Taking care of your body in college is important because you are setting yourself up for habits you will have the rest of your life. Don’t be unrealistic, you probably won’t work out every day. However, I think it is important to set aside a couple time slots a week to take care of your body. My favorite way to get a workout in is going to a fitness class at the Ray. I like to find two classes per quarter I want to be consistent at, and ask a friend to join me. An accountability buddy. My favorite classes are butts and guts and barre burn. Fitness classes are nice because they are mindless in the sense that you don’t have to choose what to work on, so that decision fatigue isn’t there. Plus, being a regular is fun because you see the same people showing up every week. And yes, decision fatigue is totally a real thing. I suggest a quick Google search.
You don’t have to know everything. You don’t have to have it all figured out. No one does. If some people do, their plan will probably change over the course of four years. Enjoy the time you have in college. Go to class. Swim in the lake. Visit a new neighborhood. Go to a Cubs game. Do the things that make life worth living. Enjoy the amazing city you live in.