Now that you know more about communication strategies for interacting in college, you may find it helpful to identify common situations that can evoke anxiety or social problems and conflict.
Campus Parties and Hookups
Many college students report that they have social limits not shared by their some of their friends. For example, you may join a group of friends to attend a party off-campus where a lot of drinking is taking place, along with other activities you are not comfortable with. If this kind of situation clashes with your personal, cultural, or religious values, you may feel best leaving the event and seeking out other social settings in the future. Angle your social interests toward people and situations that are compatible with your values and preferences.
When you’re in college, it’s not unusual hit a rough patch and find yourself struggling academically, and such challenges can have an impact on your social life. If you may find yourself in this situation—and especially if it includes other stressors, such as employment difficulties, responsibilities for family member, of financial problems—you may benefit from slowing down and getting help. Your college or university has support systems in place to help you. Take advantage of resources such as the tutoring center, counseling center, and academic advisers to help you restore your social life to a balanced state.
Homesickness is a common among college freshman, but it can persist in later college years, too. During this time, one may not feel up to being fully sociable or outgoing, especially if depression is involved. In fact, depression and social isolation tend to go together. As unappealing as it may feel, one of the best antidotes to homesickness (and depression, too,) is try to make new social connections. Try to appreciate your new environment and know that you are not alone in feeling a bit out of place and alone. Many potential new friends may be sharing the same feeling and hoping to connect with someone just like you. Give yourself time to acclimate, but reach out as soon as possible and take an active role in building your new college life.
Too Much Social Networking
It’s pretty obvious that social media is an integral part of the social landscape in college. From tweeting about a football game, to posting an album on Facebook about your spring break, to beefing up your LinkedIn profile before a job hunt, to Instagramming picture of party hijinks, social networking is everywhere in college, and it’s likely to say. The following video gives an insider look at why college students use social media.
Despite the many benefits, as you know, social networking can be a major distraction. If social networking is getting in the way of any part of your college success—whether its social or academic success—take a break and disconnect for a while.
Here are ten reasons why you may wish to step away from social media, at least temporarily: When It’s Time to Unplug—10 Reasons Why Too Much Social Media Is Bad for You
With a Little Help from My Friends
In a 2014 research study by the University of California-Los Angeles (the American Freshman Survey), 153,000 full-time, first-year students at more than 200 four-year public and private institutions were surveyed. Only 18 percent of those surveyed said they spend more than 16 hours weekly with friends. Compare this data point with a similar survey conducted in 1987: in that year, two-thirds of surveyed students said they spent more than 16 hours each week socializing.
What accounts for this change? Are academic pursuits now taking a larger percentage of students’ time? Is socializing being replaced by part-time jobs? And what is the impact of less socializing? You can read about the survey results to find out more: College Freshmen Socialize Less, Feel Depressed More.
For now, keep in mind the many benefits of socializing in college. It’s possible to have a healthy social life that’s balanced with other responsibilities.