Advice...for a sophomore!!

Hey everyone! As you can see from the title, I’m not a freshman looking for advice… i’m one year down the line, and not much closer to feeling like i fit in at college.

The thing is I expected to be able to make friends easily like I have before, but it’s felt like I’ve met a ton of people temporarily and not been able to really make many connections with them. On top of that, it’s hard to find people I relate to or that are open to talk to someone new. I wish I rushed last year, and i’m pretty sure I’m rushing this fall (which may be more difficult but seems like it’ll be worth it).

I lived in East Quad last year without being in the RC, and the whole community (at least in my hall) was pretty closed off, and it was hard to get to know people. I like going out, so I’m not a bad fit for the social life here… it just doesn’t feel like I’ve met a group of people I can call close friends or people I really want to spend time with. I’ve made okay friends one-on-one, but not a good group of tight knit friends like high school or anything.

Also, after getting a mediocre GPA, i want to transfer out of science. It just feels like it’ll be dead end after undergrad unless I do some kind of medical degree, which i’m not sure is right for me. I’ve done several extracurriculars that I enjoyed but didn’t really connect with the people in any of them, and we’re busy enough meeting once a week let alone trying to meet in a casual setting.

Another thing is I want to get involved more on campus next year but I won’t actually be living on campus to save money. I’m planning on it junior year but things just didn’t work out for sophomore year, so I won’t be there overnight. This definitely complicates the issue, but I’m confident I can work around it. I just need some ideas for making the campus smaller for me.

Basically, I just want to be able to see all of the wonderful things about campus and Michigan that everyone else sees, but all of these things combined with just general school stress have made me start to hate college- and I don’t want that to be my state for the next three years.

Do you guys have any advice for me to really start enjoying college and pick up the pace this fall?

Maybe an attitude or action change that helped you out? It’s discouraging when everyone else seems to really be enjoying their year and I’m not sure where I went wrong.

My son is also a Michigan sophomore. He had a mostly good first year, but also has made more individual friends than a strong friend group. So I don’t think you’re unusual and I think a lot of people are still open to making friends. Perhaps some of your one on one friends are part of a group of friends that you could get into. Joining a sorority would certainly help you meet people if that is something you would like. Otherwise, it sounds like you are doing the right things with joining clubs and keeping busy. My husband went to Michigan and said he made all new friends sophomore year and didn’t stay in touch with his freshman friends. I think that’s not uncommon either, some groups of freshmen just cling together to have someone, not because they really have much in common as friends. You will definitely not be the only sophomore looking for friends.

I don’t have much specific advice for you, but wanted to wish you well. I’m sure things will work out. If you want to get more replies, you could try posting in the Parents Forum since your problem isn’t really Michigan specific.

Extracurriculars (including clubs, athletics, Greek Life [professional, social, multicultural], work, etc.) are an underestimated way to make great friends. What kind of activities are you interested in? I know you said Greek Life - so let’s narrow down what you are looking for in Greek Life and what other activities you may be interested in.

I lived at Bursley my freshman year and didn’t make any friends there. You should definitely rush this fall, you’ll make lots of friends that way and always feel like you have people to do things with, so I highly recommend it.

Also, living on campus makes a big difference, and if cost is an issue, apply to the UofM fall/winter scholarship for additional funds (I wrote a one page essay last year and got $4500 for my housing costs for the year).

Go to Festifall and force yourself to check out some new clubs, and at least go to a few mass meetings.