In my last three years of college, I have experienced many trials. I contemplated if I was studying the correct field, if I was good enough, if I belonged, I felt lonely and broke. Things every freshman, sophomore, junior and senior will experience. But if there is any advice I can pass, it is something I realized three weeks ago when I was at my lowest: make friends of all sorts.

1. Friendships can start at any point.

When I came to JSU I knew one person, my boyfriend at the time. That was it. I decided to be a music major but I did not join the Marching Southerners, which left me as a major outcast. I never understood jokes, everyone had bonds, I think it took a good year for anyone to remember my name. I remember crying on the phone to my stepmother, realizing I was most likely not going to pass my aural skills class. A class that is extended across four semesters. I had never encountered anything like it before so it was one hundred percent new to me. Although, there was a guy I had met during orientation day that just so happened to be in my registration group, who was a music major and a pianist. I texted this guy after 10 PM, the night before a singing exam, and he showed up and helped me for two hours until I could sing do-re-mi perfectly. This is a friend that I never thought I would see again after orientation, but that is a long-term friend I will always have.

2. I am not fit for a sorority/fraternity: but it was fit for me.

It still was not enough, I missed my sisters and parents, people to talk to daily. I remember sitting on the floor at Mason Hall crying because of loneliness when a colleague passed me. She asked what was wrong and I expressed my emotions the best I could. She replied with, “You are just an introvert!” A term I had never heard before. I later was invited to recruitment week of a music fraternity, something I would have never in a million lifetimes thought I would ever be a part of. But I needed a home, friends, a family here on campus, and Sigma Alpha Iota was just that. I remember crying when I get a bid, and I realized the girl that called me an introvert, would soon be the President of my fraternity. Funny isn’t it? Almost three years later, and I would not trade my pledge sisters for the world.

3. Join Clubs!

Before my fraternity, I joined JSU’s Fan Club. Well, partially. I would eat at Jack Hopper Dining Hall and just sit with them. We bonded over talking about video games, and anime, we would also have very deep conversations about the world and life. Most of these friends I do not see every day, but even though three years have passed, I have called them anytime I needed someone. They were always there for me.

4. Go to frat parties.

Fraternity parties are a great way to meet a broad spectrum of people from different majors with diverse strengths. Fraternities and sororities get a bad name due to being stereotyped in movies, but they are just groups of people who bond over similar interests. This does not mean you have to join, but you can have fun and make friends without the commitment! They might even talk you into doing a lip-sync battle one hour before curtain time to raise money for breast cancer awareness, my friends did and it is something I will never forget.

5. Be a part of the International House!

This is a group of people I had once thought I would never get along with, that I had nothing to bond with them over. But again, they are just students with a drive to learn and have fun like anyone else. I have eaten authentic Indian and Moroccan food. As well as help DJ for one of their events. It was my first time DJing alone, and it made me realize how much I love doing it! So because of the International Students, I have learned about numerous different cultures, discovered more about myself, and made more memories.

Therefore, to all the JaxState Freshman of 2017, get out, experience crazy things, and be apart of as much as you can because you might just discover more of yourself.