The options are out there

Back in Kindergarten, making friends was as easy as sharing your 64-pack of Crayolas. Nowadays, as a college student, it’s not so easy — especially at Wayne State.

WSU has always been and always will be largely a commuter school. The school’s proximity to many surrounding suburban cities is one of its perks, especially for students looking to save a boatload of cash on campus housing. 

Last fall, there were almost 29,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students enrolled at WSU. Now, with numbers that high, you’d think finding at least one other student sharing some of same interests as you would be simple. However, according to the U.S. News & World Report, for the 2012-2013 school year, 89 percent of WSU students lived off campus. 

When most students don't stick around long after their classes, the social aspect of school is crippled. Making friends in class, while not impossible, is pretty difficult at WSU. Sure, college allows for flexibility with scheduling classes based on interests, so students are likely to find others with similar passions in major-related courses.

Making friends is a latent function of school, so don’t be surprised if classmates are more interested in their coursework than making new friends. If one does happen to get close with another classmate during the semester, those friendships typically end along with the class.

If a student is serious about finding solid friends, the obvious solution is to get involved. There are hundreds of student organizations on campus, as well as university-sponsored events filled with students looking to do the same thing. Getting involved in a learning community for a major is also a good way to get to know other people with similar interests.

If you’re not living on or around campus, that is still no excuse for not developing friendships. These friendships just take a little more thought and work. There are plenty of cool, nearby spots to get together with new friends outside of class and clubs.

Everyone makes friends differently; do what works for you. Simply commenting on someone’s shoes could be the spark of a lasting friendship. Try getting involved with study groups or simply saying hello to one of your classmates. 

If you get involved chances are you’ll make friends. If you come to campus and leave when classes are over, don’t expect to embrace the crucial social aspect of your college experience. Your college experience is what you make it — don’t make it alone.


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