Two years ago, I was on my way to embarking on the greatest adventure of my life: college. Although I was thrilled to be leaving home and starting my next chapter, I was also incredibly nervous. The idea of being in a place with all new faces scared the living daylights out of me, to be honest. I wanted to reinvent myself in college. I didn’t want to be known as the “sweet quiet girl” that I was in high school. So if you’re like me, and want to create a new and improved version of yourself when starting college, this is for you!

1. Join every club that you can and want to, but don’t go overboard.

When I first started school, I attempted to go to every club meeting on campus. This, as you might imagine, is impossible. The fact that my calendar was completely full with an event each night made me anxious. Only join the clubs that you have a genuine interest in, and that won’t overwhelm you. Helpful hint: if reading poetry bores you to sleep, don’t join poetry club.

2. Leave your door open when you’re in your room — let people come to you.

If you’re like me, and making friends is one of your biggest fears, not to worry! If you live on campus and prefer to stay in your room, just open your door. When you first start college, everyone is trying to make new friends, so you’re in luck.

3. Don’t stay in your room too much.

I know college can be overwhelming, trust me. But if you are always in your room, you are going to miss out on some events that only college has to offer, such as late night movies and Taco Bell runs. Yes, I know you can do this at home, but for some reason, it’s always better when you’re in a new place with new friends.

4. Try and start study groups with people in your classes.

If you’re struggling to make friends, and also want to excel in your classes, try this! You can do both at the same time. Bonus points if you ask the people in your classes to hang out with you outside of class and studying. Who knows, you may find a friend in doing this. I did!

5. If you need some time to yourself, don’t be afraid to take it!

If the idea of doing all of this makes you want to curl up into a ball and cry, I hear you. College is scary and making new friends all over again is terrifying. The only comfort in this for me was that everyone was in the same boat I was. We were all in a different environment, just trying to get by. So if you feel somewhat of a sensory overload, don’t hesitate to take a moment for yourself. I know that I like to relax and be quiet after a long day of socializing, and that’s OK. Just remember not to spend all your time in your room.

Being quiet was something that frightened me going to college. I definitely thought that I was going to be alone and friendless for four long years. I have some good news for my introverts out there…that didn’t happen! By joining some clubs and being as outgoing as I could be without totally freaking myself out, I have made some amazing friends and memories so far at school. And if you follow these steps, you will too!