What to do when you’re feeling like you need community

When you finally decide on a school and get accepted, the first few weeks on campus may be rather lonely or disorienting. This is totally natural and okay. Going from a life at home to a life at college can be overwhelming. There are a number of things you can do to settle in.

Get involved. If you’re feeling homesick or looking to connect back to your roots, check out the cultural center on campus. There will be an array of activities and groups available to you, and like-minded individuals who will help you acclimate to college life. You can even join a club.

Also, if you’re accustomed to a religious life or looking for a place to worship or pray, check out the religious center on campus. They’ll welcome you with open arms and point you in the direction you want to go. After a long week of studying, a little meditation or church service can go a long way.

If neither of these options necessarily appeals to you or you can’t find your niche in campus life, you can always start your own club or group. Most colleges are pretty encouraging of students who take the initiative to map out their own path, after all, that’s what we go to college to learn about in the first place!

And don’t forget, if you’re living in the dorms, you can always go to your Residential Adviser (RA). That’s one reason they’re there. They’ll help you feel comfortable with your living situation, on top of being someone you can go to for direction and guidance. And if you have a really excellent RA, they’ll make it super easy for you to make friends and feel part of the dormitory community. They may even create fun events to bring people together and facilitate getting to know the campus and surrounding areas.

When you start studying in the USA, remember, there are plenty of ways to feel connected. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Don’t be afraid to be honest with people about how you are feeling. Colleges are set up for you to have a great learning experience.

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