Congratulations! You have now made it through all the shopping, and have officially moved into college. Now comes the hard part of officially being on your own as your parents drive away. The minute your parents leave you alone is the moment of realization that you are starting your college career. Watch out, it hits you like a ton of bricks.

So, what now? Here you are alone on a campus in which you know nobody. Where do you even start?

First, begin by introducing yourself to everyone. Your first introduction should be your roommate, also known as your first friend, regardless of whether it stays that way throughout your collegiate career or not. Biting the bullet and being social is key to starting off your life at school. Yes, just showing up at someone’s door and introducing yourself is weird and awkward. Actually, when starting to meet people, there are multiple awkward situations, like this one. But just remember that everyone else is in the same position as you- scared and nervous and frightened they will not make any friends. Always keep your door open and be friendly to everyone in your dorm, classroom, or anywhere on campus. For example, my closest friend at school, who lived across the hall, became friends bonding over how crappy our campus’s wifi was and tried to find a hotspot.

Being open to everyone will surely find you connections and before you know it, you’ll be having dinner with dozens of friends.

Not only are introductions important, but so are extracurricular activities. Not only do they build your resume, but they’re fun! From big schools like Rutgers to small ones like Kean, every school has tons of options for clubs and sports to participate in. Like Harry Potter? Join the Quiddich Club! If you like writing, join your school’s newspaper! Take advantage of all the options. Schools often hold huge activity fairs in which you can sign up and learn more about every club. I signed up for over 15 clubs when starting school. No, I wasn’t going to join all of them, but everything I was interested in, I signed up for to see if I wanted to stick with it. Don’t be afraid to try something new! I had no experience with radio when I entered college, but I loved it so much that I now I have my own show at school and an awesome internship here at New Jersey 101.5!

Finding your niche at school will be easy if you are open to everyone, and try different things. These two steps should be the first when starting off your collegiate career. Clubs are great ways to find friends, as well as simply introducing yourself to your hall mates. Keeping busy between activities and school will have you loving school and eliminating homesickness in no time. Just don’t forget to call your parents and check in though!