In college, it may seem as though there is never enough time to finish what needs to be done. But maintaining your social life and expanding your social circle is very important and should not be neglected. Not only is socializing beneficial for your health, happiness, and your self-confidence, but it’s also a great way to learn outside of the classroom. Here’s why it’s important to have a college social life.
1. Your social life can make studying easier
It isn’t fun studying alone, and it’s often easier to study if someone is there to help you. Study buddies can not only teach you new studying techniques, but they can also help you take more efficient study breaks and keep you on track— they may even make you Ramen at 1 a.m.
2. Cultural exposure
Exposing yourself to a variety of social situations, whether it be joining a club, going to a party, or eating dinner downtown with your friends, allows you to develop relationships with people from other states, cultures, and countries. Expanding your social circle will help you form cross-cultural connections as well as develop a greater world perspective. Interacting with people who come from different backgrounds, will teach you more about life than any college course will.There is no better time to expand your social circle than in college.
3. Socializing keeps you emotionally stable
Humans are inherently social beings. We need to interact with people in order to maintain our sense of self and stay sane. Ever noticed how much better and less stressed you feel after talking to your friend about your horrible day? Then maybe you should make that a routine. Do not neglect your emotions. Taking time for yourself is just as important as making time for your classes and activities.
4. Build your self-confidence
Surrounding yourself with people who like you for you boosts your self-esteem and encourages personal growth. During college you may be placed in social situations that can be out of your comfort zone and make you feel vulnerable, but if you push yourself to interact with others, you can develop your social skills and build your self-confidence.
5. Your college social life can impact your future
The social life you choose to have in college can greatly affect your future endeavors. The friends you make in college will become co-workers and allies in the work force.You have already started building your professional network, so keep it up! Sooner or later you will realize that it's all about who you know.
So, if you're parents think you're partying too much, just assure them it's good for you.
Is your college super social? Review your college and let others know.
Animations courtesy of Giphy.
About the author
Madison (Mattie) is a sophomore at Colby-Sawyer College, majoring in creative writing and minoring in art history. Very involved in theater and music, her love for piano is almost as strong as her Vermont pride.
Self-confidence. It’s the stuff that helps people banish negativity and feel pretty good about their life and abilities. Self-confident people are thought to be better at trying new things, rebounding from disappointment, and overcoming obstacles. They’re also more successful at handling stress, relating to others and achieving their goals.
Self-confidence, or how you see yourself, affects every aspect of life, from physical fitness and mental health, to work and finances, to social interactions and education.
Although self-confidence is initially developed in childhood, building self-confidence on your own at any age is possible. And, believe it or not, finishing your college degree is the perfect example of how you can do it. In fact, research shows that through the college experience, “adults improve self-confidence and enhance their social capital while embracing a personal identity of ‘learner.’”
Here’s some going-back-to-college advice, activities and strategies to help you overcome self-defeating patterns and develop newfound self-confidence—the kind that paves the way for better career opportunities, improved financial success and greater job satisfaction.
Conduct a reality assessment.
Make a list of your best qualities. What things can you do? What are you really good at? What positive things do other people say about you? Read your list slowly and out loud. Take the time to appreciate and celebrate your unique strengths and achievements.
Face the challenge.
Trying something new is scary for most people. And going back to college is no exception. Facing your fear, however, is where the victory can be found. So instead of focusing on the fear, look at it as an opportunity. Imagine a successful outcome. Then take a small step of action; then another and another. A series of small successes, such as taking a class in a difficult subject, asking for help from your instructor or getting a good grade on a test, is a sure-fire confidence booster.
Fake it ’til you make it.
Twelve-step programs made this a famous catchphrase. But don’t let the cliché nature of this advice stop you from trying it. Acting with self-confidence can actually produce self-confidence. Behaving as if something is true (even if it’s not) is a therapeutic technique that dates back to the 1960s. Known as a positive feedback loop, it is a profoundly effective tool that is proven to actually change behavior. Here’s an example: Let’s say you feel out of place in the classroom. You haven’t been a student in years. and you’re surrounded by people younger than you. Rather than focusing on your differences, simply act as if you belong. The fact is, because going back to school has no age restriction, you really do belong! Take it even further by engaging with other students, participating in class discussions, and taking a seat anywhere but the back of the room.
Collect the proof.
Look for success. Seek out proof of your abilities. One way to do this is to start an evidence file. You can create a physical file or an electronic file on your computer. Fill it up with things like good grades on papers and projects, achievement awards, notes from others that say positive things about you, thank you notes from fellow students or letters of recommendation from teachers.
Remember that you’re only human
Self-confidence won’t necessarily come quickly or easily. You will make mistakes on occasion. You will feel defeated from time to time. And you often will encounter people who seem smarter or better than you somehow. Refrain from chastising yourself. Refuse to compare yourself to others. These behaviors are completely unproductive. Instead, go back to your reality assessment. Review your admirable traits and qualities, and then add some new ones to the list. While you’re at it, give yourself a pep talk, and then compliment or reward yourself on your ability to bounce back from negative self-talk.
More Resources for Reaching Your Potential:
Source: Zacharakis J, Steichen M, et al. Understanding the Experiences of Adult Learners: Content Analysis of Focus Group Data. Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal, Volume 5, Number 2, Summer 2011.