Shy student’s guide: how to navigate college life, clubs, jobs

August 29, 2017

Lily Spencer

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    Every student knows that the first few weeks of college can be hard to navigate.

    The beginning of a new semester can be especially stressful for shy or introverted students who sometimes find that the pressure to meet new people, go to events and attend classes is hard to balance.

     Students who may have a difficult stepping out of their comfort zone to meet new people, or just need a way to balance their many responsibilities have options to expand their social horizons.

     Starting a conversation with someone in class is the most common advice for students who find it difficult to move outside of their comfort zone, according to Stacy Carosa, program coordinator for the Office of First Year Experience.

    “When I started college, I was pretty shy as well, so I gradually just started saying hi to people in my classes,” said Carosa.

    “Eventually, I’d say hi to a person over and over, then the conversation would evolve, and by mid-semester you maybe have a friend or two in that class.”

    Joining a club is also a good place to start meeting likeminded people. UCCS has over 190 clubs to choose from, including club sports, honor societies, Greek Life and more.

    Getting involved on campus can benefit students as well. According to UCCS’s retention data for Fall 2015, freshmen who participated in clubs had a 80.3 percent retention rate, while freshman not involved in clubs have only a 63.1 percent retention rate.

    Senior biochemistry major Rachel Moore believes that getting involved on campus is extremely important for students.

    “It’s especially important for [freshmen] to get involved on campus because a lot of their classes are pretty large, and it is great to find a small community so they don’t feel so isolated,” said Moore.

    For students hoping to learn more about clubs and organizations, the annual Fall Club Fair will take on Aug. 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the West Lawn. Students can also visit Mountain Lion Connect for more information on clubs and organizations.

    Students who need a financial incentive to get involved have options as well. According to Sabrina Wienholtz, director of Student Clubs Organizations and Leadership, student employment is a good way to find peers and earn some money on the side.

    “Student employment is a great way to find a niche and a little community on campus,” said Wienholtz.

    Students interested in applying for work on campus can visit S.E.A.N’s Place.

    “College is expensive, and you are only here for a little while, so there really is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of every single opportunity you have while you’re here,” said Wienholtz.

    Wienholtz believes that even if students are anxious to step outside their comfort zone, they won’t regret it.

    “It’s just getting over that little bit of discomfort that says, ‘I’d rather stay home tonight,’” she said.