You don’t need someone else telling you to stay organized, study hard and control your social behavior at college…you’ve heard it repeatedly. There are, however, some morsels that upperclass students may tell you as you enter the hallowed halls of higher education to make your time there more fun and more fruitful. This advice will be delievered in a series over the next two weeks:
Suggestion #5 – (Un-embarrassing) ways to let people know you’re friendly and open to meeting people - You will likely never meet more new people at one time and in one place than you will your first few weeks of college. Shy or outgoing, these tips will ease your transition:
a. Embrace Open Doors-an open dorm room door, for example, is an invitation for people to pop their head in to say hi and introduce themselves. A closed door says, well, just the opposite. Walk through open doors. College will be virtually the only time in your life where you can offer a handshake and say “Hi, I’m Matt” without people thinking you’re just a little strange and a little too far into their personal space. Hold doors, as well. Be courteous to the person behind you and then make brief eye contact and say hello. Everyone is in the same boat…take advantage of this. Don’t just walk through dorm doors, walk through faculty doors as well. Introduce yourself, let them know what class you’re taking with them… you’ve just begun a relationship that will last 4 years. Virtually every upper class student will tell you that developing an interpersonal relationship with your instructor will result in great long-term benefits.
b. (Almost) NEVER use headphones-sticking little noise making buds in your ears sends the message that you have no interest in interacting with anyone else. By all means, listen to some tunes…through a bluetooth speaker. Save headphones for the library or for times when you truly want to convey to people that you have no interest in talking to them (like the night before a big exam).
c. TV should be a social experience - Given the time, effort and money you (and your family) are spending on college, watching tv is a very low efficiency way to get maximum return on your college investment. Instead, make tv (a) infrequent and (b) a social event…invite some friends to watch a ballgame or your favorite cult tv show.