Are you just a small town girl? Living in a lonely world?
Can you name every person from your graduating class? Was your front door always unlocked? Did you have to drive at least two hours to buy your prom dress? Did you used to think that drinking Mike’s Hard Lemonade around a bonfire after a football game was a huge rager? If so, then you may be a small town girl!
I grew up most of my life in Silver City, New Mexico. Ever heard of it? I didn’t think so. Neither have the vast majority of the
people I meet at the University of Arizona. This may be because it’s a tiny
town, nestled in southwest New Mexico, with a population just a little
over 10,000 people. To put it in perspective, there are more people sitting in
the stands at a UA football game than there are in the whole town of Silver
City. To say I was excited to move to Tucson for my freshman year of
college, is an understatement.
I quickly learned that In-n-Out was the best gift the hamburger gods ever gave to the human race and that Hollister wasn’t as cool as I thought it was. Although I was ecstatic to leave Silver City and start this new chapter of my life, the whole experience was a bit overwhelming. Going from knowing every person in my school to not knowing a single soul was scary! I felt like plankton in a sea of people. Being from a small town and transitioning to a big university takes some adjusting. If you’re in a similar situation, I have some tips for you that will help you break out of your small town shell.
1. Introduce yourself to people in your dorm. I know it may be intimidating, at first, but making conversation and introducing yourself to others in your dorm will make for a better and more fun dorm life experience. How are you supposed to make friends if you don’t make an effort to meet people? Your residence hall may be the best and first place to do this. Even if you’re just folding laundry next to a cute guy, spark up a conversation and invite him to stop by your room sometime.
2. Explore options, like Greek life, and clubs on campus. I joined both a sorority and a club my freshman year and they were the best decisions I could have made! Joining Greek life, or a club, introduces you to a group of people who share interests similar to yours. They are also great ways to get involved on campus, give back to the community through philanthropy and gain leadership experience.
3. Talk to the people next to you in class. Again, this may be intimidating, but it is always beneficial to have a buddy in class to work with and whom you can contact if you have questions about anything.
4. Don’t go back home for at least two months. Visiting home too soon may make you even more homesick and take away from meeting new people and having new experiences. Going home to visit your high school friends, who don’t quite understand life at a big university, may bring you down and ruin your transition into college life. They may get jealous of your new friends and make you feel bad about all the new fun you’re having.
5. Be yourself! There’s no better way to make genuine friends than by attracting them with your amazing and unique small town girl personality. Don’t put on a front, or try to be something you’re not, just to attract friends. At the end of the day, your new college friends should like you for you and, hopefully, you will be lifelong friends.