By: Sheridan Kate Murray, Co-Editor in Chief
Dear Sheridan Kate,
I’m a first year student here at Wofford and I’m having a bit of trouble adjusting to the social scene. With recruitment in the spring and no clear way to get involved in clubs on campus, I find myself struggling to make friends. If you could give a piece of advice to me and other freshman students having a tough time socializing, what would it be? I’ve heard that everyone goes through something like this their first semester at Wofford but it doesn’t seem like it will get any easier.
Signed, the Fumbling First Year
Dear Fumbling First Year,
First of all, let me say that I completely relate to what you’re going through. My own freshman year at Wofford wasn’t without its fair share of bumps in the road as I struggled to acclimate to campus culture and solidify a friend group. The most impactful thing I can tell you is that getting plugged in on campus was essential to my success as a first year. Take full advantage of clubs on campus, and join them even if no one else you know is attending meetings. Sign up for outside events that clubs in your field of interest are organizing, even if you initially go to them alone.
Take initiative to ask classmates to get meals or study together. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone because odds are, they’re just as anxious to make friends as you are. I know at this point in the semester it can feel like you should already have a well-established group of friends, but that just isn’t the case for everyone. Don’t let someone else’s timeline cause you unnecessary stress. Focus on making plans with at least one new person a week, whether that’s grabbing coffee with them between classes, or reading each other’s papers for a shared class.
On your note about delayed recruitment: rushing was a formative part of my first semester at Wofford, but its delay doesn’t mean that you can’t make friends until then. Being involved in Greek Life is an impactful experience, but it isn’t the only fruitful social engagement on campus. The connections you make with people in class, at club meetings and in the dining hall are just as important and can even help you make a good impression once recruitment rolls around.
The moral of the story is this; try your best to reach out and make friends, but don’t let it consume you. This time in your college career is undoubtedly one full of uncertainty and growing pains. Allow yourself to fully adjust to Wofford’s culture and figure out the kind of friend you want to be. Pursue what is important to you, and you’ll inevitably find friends who share those same interests. Get involved, be unapologetically yourself, and don’t be afraid to reach out first. Best of luck!