Dear Freshmen (and pretty much every other year, too, as this pertains to all of you!) —
The thing about commuter campuses is that you meet a ton of people who come and go. The ultimate goal for these students is to get their GEs done and move on to bigger things on a bigger campus. We’ll call them Movers. Now, there are other people, like myself, who decide to stay on the regional campuses to finish their degrees. We’ll call them Stickers.
The very first thing I noticed when attending OSUM my freshmen year in 2013 was that no one really wanted to build a legitimate friendship. It bummed me out because I was here almost all day, every day, and when you have no one to talk to, it sucks. It sucks bad. I’m a Sticker, so most everyone moved on after the first or second year, and a lot of people didn’t see the point in making friends with someone who wasn’t joining them in Columbus. It was probably one of the hardest first years of my entire time in any form of school — like, harder than that one time I decided to switch schools for 7th grade. That’s saying something.
Adults have a hard time making friends in this sort of situation; some people might think it sounds weird to say, but it’s really not. Whether you have social anxiety or you’re a straight up people person, it can be difficult to adjust to a new place, new lifestyle, and new people. It’s a bit overwhelming, but don’t sweat it. Don’t be afraid to make friends. Even if you’re a Mover, there is nothing wrong with chatting up the Sticker sitting next to you in your Spanish class. Or, as a Sticker, don’t feel left out if you’re the only student in your Pre-Calc class who isn’t switching campuses. Some of my best friends are moving on to Columbus campus, but I don’t let that bother me at all, because they are here currently and its their companionship and support in this very moment that matters.
Don’t isolate yourselves; we are human beings, a species that isn’t made to be left alone or to live in seclusion. Only in groups do we succeed. From the support, constructive criticisms, and aid from others, we become the best person that we can be. Put your happiness first. No, I’m not a motivational poster.
I’m just telling it to you straight.