Don’t spend all your time in your room alone in front of the TV. If you aren’t ready to venture outside the campus and even your building yet, that’s ok for now. Start by getting to know the people on your floor. Chances are, there will be other first year students there just as shy as you. Reach out to them and help each other out. You’ll soon find you click with certain individuals. Even if your common interest is just watching Survivor every week, have fun enjoying it together over pizza and snacks. Soon, you’ll see personalities emerge as your new buddies react differently to situations on the show.
Stay open-minded about every person you meet. Just because someone is different from you doesn’t mean they aren’t good friend material.You only have once chance to make a first impression, and it’s easy to either make the wrong one. This is as true for the stranger you have just met as it is for you. Keeping that in mind will help you not to judge people who could become your new best friends if you let them. Observe the person over time. Give him or her a chance to show true colors before deciding whether to invest much time in him or her.
Even if you do live close enough to go home every weekend, stay on or near campus at least sometimes. This is the only way you have time to see people when they aren’t tired or have a class to catch. Go to parties, shop at the local mall, explore new parts of campus, cheer your team on at the field, or even go to church with some new buddies. Even working on a group project or staying in to do homework can lead to bonding as you help each other deal with tough material and learn things like how to troubleshoot in the computer lab.
Avoid the wrong crowd. The wrong crowd can get you into alot of trouble. You really don’t want to be accused of criminal activity- even minor stuff like underage drinking- just because of who you were with at the time. The crowds that experiment with irresponsible behavior like drugs, binge drinking, and unprotected sex can teach you life lessons the hard way.
Finally, do not commit yourself to too many people or activities at once. While being a wallflower in your room is not healthy, spreading yourself too thin isn’t good, either. Join societies and get to know many different people. However. don’t spend all your time on any one of them. You’ll find you cannot really enjoy any of them that way. Instead, find out which ones work best for you, your tastes, and your schedule. And of course, you must make time for the essentials: food, sleep, and homework.