Feeling connected on campus can have a huge impact on your college experience, take it from a super senior who watched the majority of my friends graduate and leave San Diego.
Growing up in Boston, I went to a small high school where no one other than my college counselor had ever even heard of USD, so when I pulled up outside Founders on move-in day the only person I knew was my roommate who I had become friends with on Facebook about a month before. It definitely didn’t help that I was shy and reluctant to reach out to the other students in my classes or pop into an open door in my dorm hallway and introduce myself like every first year college advice article I read suggested. My roommate on the other hand, was from Santa Cruz in Northern California and had already met some other incoming first-year students through mutual friends back home and was just generally more outgoing than me. Being the introvert that I am, I was extremely lucky to meet one of my best friends at USD through my roommate.
As the year went on, I clung to my roommate and my friend until I got more comfortable, made more friends and realized most people were anxious about finding friend groups, too. So, the moral of the story is that things worked out for me and I didn’t end up friendless and miserable like I had secretly feared I would, but looking back four years later I wish I had been more proactive about creating the college experience I wanted for myself. My best friend went on to rush during formal recruitment and joined a sorority, and while I still believe not joining Greek Life was the right choice for me, maybe it wouldn’t have hurt to rush and put myself out there. Afterall, stepping out of my comfort zone was one of the reasons I had chosen to go to school all the way across the country in the first place (well, that, and to escape the New England winter). I am eternally grateful for the friends I’ve made and the experiences I’ve had at USD, but I’ve learned that you can’t always sit back and just expect them to happen to you.
Transitioning from high school or even another college can be difficult, and finding your place can be intimidating but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Whether you’re a first-year, a transfer student or even a returning student, clubs on campus are a great way to get involved, meet new friends or get out of your comfort zone and try something new.
USD has over 180 student organizations including academic, cultural, service, athletic, religious, and Greek organizations, there’s something for everyone. So, in case you missed the Alcala Bazaar or just need a refresher you can check them all out by visiting Torero Orgs. And on the off chance you can’t find a club that interests you, you can always start your own.
Some other awesome places where you can get involved or just hang out:
United Front Multicultural Center
Black Student Resource Center
Center for Student Success
Student Leadership, Involvement and Changemaking
Center for Health and Wellness Promotion
Learn more about getting involved!