An important but often overlooked aspect of coming to college is the socialization part of college. The level of socialization done while in college can define what kind of college experience a person might have. Some may argue that it isn’t the reason why they came to college and can even be a hindrance to actual studying.   It can be a distraction, but the benefits of socializing far outweigh any negative consequences.

One of the major ways in which people learn to socialize is through the Orientation process that colleges hold. In addition to touring the school, it is also a chance to meet other prospective students that would be attending the school. It is also a chance to see if anyone else from the same high school might be attending.

Another way to help with socialization is by joining other clubs that are offered on campus. This is one of the most effective way to socialize because you would be working with other people on similar interests which helps build bonds. The available clubs and associations are usually covered in the Orientation and most colleges hold club fairs less than a month after school starts.

Socialization is different for the commuter and the person living on campus. People on campus are able to form deeper bonds because they may be roommates or have shared interests like video games or a favorite tv show they enjoy watching. However, the lack of socialization is also more pronounced while on campus. It is evident while dining, attending sporting events or a typical Friday night event. Not having company for events such as those can affect a person’s self esteem and lead to other problems as well. As evidenced by the shooting in Virginia Tech a couple of years ago.

Socialization while commuting is also quite important. While the benefits might not be as much as the person living on campus, it still plays an important role in the college experience of the commuter.  It can be beneficial by people of the same major gathering together to form a study group for a coming test or exam. It can also be beneficial when a person doesn’t quite understand the work assigned in class or has been absent for a while.

Overall, it boils down to the individual. Some people are very social by nature, their personalities make it easy for them to make friends. For the rest of us, we have to make more of an effort to  socialize. It won’t just happen by chance or circumstance. A person has to apply themselves and  in some cases look at it as a task to be completed.  According to “My advice to all freshmen on campus is simply to be nice to as many people as possible, because the secret to having friends is looking approachable to others and smiling once in a while.”  This advice underlies all the tips listed above, which is to make yourself approachable to others. Regardless of race, possessions or intelligence, without an approachable personality, socialization would be quite difficult in college.