Congrats! You’ve made it through the fall semester rush. Chances are, you know your way around campus, you’ve learned a lot of content in your classes, and you’ve made some new friends since starting at USD. If you have been here just one semester or this is your last semester at USD, I’m guessing that you have a general understanding of the ins and outs of campus, BUT things could be better. So what’s next on the list? Creating a legacy on campus? Taking the student-body by storm? Well, maybe not… How about we start small and talk about connecting on campus in new ways? I’ve been here for four years and I still don’t know everything that our campus offers, but I can give you a good idea of some places to start!
Join a Club: As bad as this might sound, it wasn’t until my senior year that I discovered Torero Orgs, USD’s club registry. It’s a magical list of all the organizations on campus ranging from the Astrology Club to the Basement Society. Try scoping the list for any organizations within your major or any that compliment your personality. Are you passionate about political causes? Well, there is a club for that! Get out there! Share your beliefs, change a few minds, and gain a new perspective. It’s a win-win situation for everyone! In the event that you find that the club of your dreams is not listed, then step up and start your own organization.
Stay Plugged into Social Media: Let’s be real, your phone is usually glued to your hand. How about we use this to your advantage? Instead of mindlessly scrolling through your timeline, giggling at cat videos, how about you like a USD page or two? A good one would be the page for your class year. For example, USD Class of 2019. It’ll give you a chance to get a good of idea of who’s in your class, while also keeping you up to date on different campus happenings. Many clubs and organizations on campus use social media as their way to communicate important information about meetings and new developments. There’s a page for literally everything USD, with limitless opportunities to stay connected while getting another like or two on your profile picture in the process.
Join a Fraternity or Sorority: USD has a large, well-established Greek community. By joining a sorority or fraternity, you can meet a LOT of really great people who can become life-long friends. Going Greek is also a great way to develop your leadership skills, serve the community through philanthropy, and to get connected to a large network of members beyond USD. It may seem a little intimidating at first, but take the plunge with an open mind and I think you could find lots of benefits from this wonderful community!
Get on an Intramural Team: It’s all the fun of being on a sports team without the headache of going to consistent practices! Imagine a bunch of your closest friends crushing your fellow classmates in a soccer game. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? It’s also another way to stay in shape playing the game you love. Don’t let your dream slip away; keep it alive, whether it be by playing lacrosse, baseball, volleyball, basketball, or flag football. There are endless opportunities for you to strut your stuff, while also getting to know the person on the other side of the net! Jump in, even if you’ve never played the sport before. That’s the beauty of intramurals; it serves as an avenue to try something new without the pressure of a competitive atmosphere. Get the ball rolling and check out the Campus Recreation website to get more info!
Hit up some On-Campus Events: The Torero Program Board and other organizations work hard to plan great events that will give you the chance to make connections on campus and in the surrounding community. Be on the lookout for events that will take you to Mission Beach, Little Italy, or even Disneyland. Even if the event being put on isn’t your ideal way of spending time, check it out anyway. Try to keep an open-mind and remember that every event serves as a chance to meet new friends. For example, head to a campus movie night in front of the SLP, the BSU Poetry Slam, or even a small mixer put on by your RA. If you’re feeling really adventurous think about making the trek over to the JCP to cheer on your fellow Torero sports teams. It’ll give you a chance to let out some of that pent up post-midterm aggression by heckling some of our opponents. Not only will it help boost your school spirit, but it will also make you feel more at home on campus. And a plus… everyone will love you for it!
Get a Job on Campus: Who wouldn’t want some extra cash to put towards their tuition? I’ve been lucky to have several jobs on campus. It’s a great way to make new friends and you never know what professors or administrative staff you might have the opportunity to begin connecting with outside of class. Plus working on campus has its own set of perks. They are great at accommodating your class schedule and understand what it’s like to be a student balancing multiple demands. In the process of working you also gain knowledge about campus services and events going on. Lastly, with an on-campus job comes free food! You never know when there might be a stray cupcake or leftover pizza on the office counter. So be on the lookout for upcoming student employment opportunities and when one comes your way make sure to apply ASAP!
Find the Crowds: No idea where to begin? Start frequenting campus hotspots. It’s the law of numbers; the more people, the more connections that are bound to happen. Try the Student Life Pavilion, where you’ll find tons of students, waiting in the pasta or American line for their next meal. Catch someone in between their 2nd and 3rd course and strike up a conversation. If the SLP isn’t your scene, try Aromas Cafe. There you’ll have the ambiance on your side. Slide into a comfy chair next to someone and compliment their choice of a double pump, non-fat, sugar-free Chai Tea Latte.
Lastly, in your quest for connecting, it helps to figure out what you’re passionate about. it’ll serve as a beacon, and help you maximize your time here at USD. No need to get super narrow, just a general idea of what peaks your interest will help a lot. Are you looking to make social connections? To make a change? To build your academic skills? After drawing up a quick sketch of what you want to accomplish, keep your ears to the ground. Odds are, that exact opportunity may present itself. Lastly, GO! Once that event catches your attention – go to it, worse case scenario you leave with some food and a couple words of caution/wisdom to pass on to your roommates! Often it can take several tries to find people you connect with, so don’t give up if the first new connection you try isn’t a great fit.