Making lasting friendships in college can change your life forever! Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.
Immense fear and excitement can neatly summarize the act of going off to college. The anticipation is amplified at a school like MTSU, where over 20,000 students wander our courtyards and fill our classrooms. A number like that can totally freak you out. With such a diverse campus and your crazy schedule, where do you even start when trying to meet other students? The large campus presents you with a great opportunity to meet more people than ever and create lasting friendships. There are so many ways to meet people and get involved at MTSU, but here are 5 of the most recommended methods to the madness.
1. Attend Connection Point events
It doesn’t matter if you’re a new student trying to make the most of your time in Murfreesboro or a returning student looking to ring in the new semester with some fun; Connection Point is a great place to meet new friends. Taking place from August until October, it is a series of events ranging from a comedy show to Crash the Commons, a dance party with inflatables in front of the Student Union! The events are designed to connect the student body and give them a head start by learning about extracurricular activities and the community. There is always an event for everyone, but trying some out of your comfort zone is a nice way to get acclimated to campus life.
If you’ve ever seen someone on campus with a backpack covered in buttons, they probably received most of them from Connection Point events. Those bad boys are extremely fun to collect and compare, creating a fun conversation starter when meeting new people. Every event usually has its own button, so head to as many events as you can, meet as many people as you can, and start your own collection!
If you still aren’t convinced to attend an event or two, there’s free food (😁🙌) involved at a few of them. Bet that changes your tune, doesn’t it?!
2. Go Greek
“Without going Greek, I wouldn’t have the friends and support system I have, experiences and opportunities I’ve had, nor the opportunity of being a part of something greater than myself,” said MaKayla Stubblefield, a junior Speech Pathology & Audiology student and member of Alpha Omicron Pi. Becoming a member of Fraternity & Sorority Life is considered by many to be the prime option for meeting lifelong friends and building lasting connections.
Not only are you socially engaged with a large number of other students, but the positive impact that Greek life makes on the community through philanthropy and community service is amazing. This was apparent on campus during Greek Week, during which members of fraternities and sororities collected over 3,000 cans to be donated to the Student Food Pantry.
Some final advice from MaKayla? “For those considering going Greek – DO IT! It was truly the BEST decision I have ever made for myself while being a Blue Raider. Join the sorority [or fraternity] that you believe will shape you into the best woman [or man] you can be not only for your 4 years at MTSU, but for the rest of your life.”
3. Find the student organization that fits your style
Is there something you’re passionate about that you’d like to discuss outside of an online forum? How about a hobby you’d like to partake in with other enthusiasts? There’s a solid chance you can find the student organization for you at MTSU! From clubs that watch anime or go skydiving, to clubs that play intramural sports or create art, there are over 100 student groups to join on campus. You just need to do some research and ask around to find a group with similar interests to you. Once a semester, the school hosts a Student Organization Fair where you can explore your options, get some free swag, and meet new people. Oh and yes, you’ll get a shiny new Connection Point button for attending.
One student organization I’d recommend for anyone, regardless of their interests, is the Student Government Association. It works a lot like Student Council in high school, but way more fun and impactful. You get to serve as a leader on campus, acting as a bridge between the student body and administration. If you have any desire to take part in shaping your school and meet as many students as possible, I’d strongly recommend getting involved.
To find other organizations, you can visit myMT to find a list of active student organizations and their contact information. Your people are waiting for you, they just haven’t met you yet!
4. Create a class group chat
You know, your 8:00 AM classmates don’t have to be limited to fellow sleepy faces you see every other day. They are people, too, and best of all, you already have at least one thing in common: the sheer joy you feel from being in that wonderful class at such a ideal time of day.
Creating some kind of group chat with your classmates not only allows you to get to know them personally, but also gives you another resource when studying or working on homework. Before you know it, you’ll be comparing notes, sharing your favorite memes, and hanging out outside of class.
Most college students use the GroupMe app for their student organizations and study groups. Anyone can create these group chats, so invite a couple of classmates and let it spread to the rest of the class. There’s a good chance you’ll keep the conversation going long after final grades are posted!
5. Attend MT Athletics games
I may be biased as a huge sports fan, but I have met plenty of people by tailgating and simply cheering on the Blue Raiders near others in the crowd. When a big play happens and people get excited, everyone becomes friends and high-fives (or hugs) get thrown around like extra credit at the end of a semester!
In such a close environment, it can be easy to find yourself in conversation with others. Don’t worry about knowing anything about sports, though. It’s super easy to cheer on the Blue Raiders without being a sports fan. Just remember to wear blue!
This method of meeting people is awesome once you’ve already met people through a student organization, in the classroom, or at an event. You can plan to tailgate or sit in the student section with them and meet an entire network of mutual friends! By this point, you’ll have an entire pool of people to survive school with and connect as Blue Raiders with for the rest of your life.
And to think it all started with a couple of buttons and some free food. You see, opportunities are ample for you to make friends without having to fit yourself into a specific box or be super outgoing. If you focus on getting involved and having fun, the friends will come to you. Don’t throw away the golden opportunity to be engaged in the life of this community, because at least a few of those tuition dollars are dedicated to making you some friends. Right? Anyone??