It is never too late to get involved

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, we can almost all agree we want to have friends. It’s simple: As humans, we are wired to crave connections and social interaction with others. We simply are not meant to go through life alone.

There are freshmen who are entering their college careers with an eagerness to make hundreds of friends and become involved with everything on campus. Conversely, there are others who are feeling slightly overwhelmed with the tough adjustment from high school to a college of thousands and would rather crawl in a hole.

I was the latter.

I made a mistake I’ve seen many freshmen make. Let me say first: Do not sit around and expect others to come to you. Don’t expect to have friends without ever leaving your room.

As an eager freshman, I came to college with some built-in friends along with nine other “Cottage sisters,” as a resident in The Cottages. Since I had some solid friends already, I didn’t need to seek out others by attending events. I felt comfortable and I liked it that way.

Sophomore year I moved into my new apartment, but this time only three of us lived together. I started to realize this year would not be the same. I knew some of my friends in The Cottages were still around, but nightly group dinners would no longer happen and I could no longer run into their rooms next door. I spent that year upset and alone. Something needed to change.

As harsh as it sounds, I realized people were not going to start coming up to me and begging me to become involved. I needed to put myself out there and make the effort. Ultimately, we need to look out for ourselves because relying on others will only bring disappointment.

I reflected on my life and knew I needed to dig myself out of the hole I created. I finally made an effort to reach out to others and became involved with numerous groups and events on campus, and I was truly so much happier. The extrovert within me began to thrive.

So take it from me, freshmen: Get involved in anything and everything because that is how you are going to meet the most incredible people you wouldn’t have met otherwise. Upperclassmen: It is never too late to get out of your comfort zone. I was able to do it and so can you.

About Darlene Mercado

Opinion Editor

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