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You made it through high school with the promise that college would be better. Surely, the “best four years of your life” wouldn’t disappoint. Except sometimes all of the feelings that made you dread high school resurface. Here’s how to deal with college when it starts to feel like high school.

If your campus starts to feel too small

Regardless of the size of your campus, you might feel as though you run into the same people all the time. Add that to not having a car and you’re basically stuck in a bubble. If this is the case, switch up your study spot, take a different route to class and join a new club. Even a small shift in your surroundings can introduce you to a side of campus you didn’t know existed. Also look into activities off campus, such as volunteer opportunities. Often, if a place is not within walking distance, there are other transportation options available.

If you feel left out or alone

You thought making friends in college would be easy. You have roommates. You’re in five organizations. You are a friendly person. Yet you haven’t found your group of people. Though this is definitely not a good feeling, you can change it by inviting people to hang out more often. Chances are, people don’t realize that you’re looking for someone to hang out with. If there’s an event you want to go to, ask the person you talk to in your environment class to tag along. If someone else is sitting alone in the cafeteria, start a conversation. And if you’re still feeling lonely, contact some friends from home and find out what they’re up to.

If people are gossiping

You thought the gossip would disappear yet it continues on anonymous social media accounts and across campus. Ugh, you thought these people were supposedly adults. If the gossip is bothering you, hang out with a solid group of people who stays away from the gossip. Write a letter to the editor of your school paper about a social media topic that’s really bothering you. Maybe the gossip was directed at you personally – talk to someone about it, whether that means telling someone you trust or confronting the person.

If your classes seem boring

Your Psych 101 class just isn’t as intellectually stimulating as you hoped it would be. But as you take more advanced courses, they will get more interesting. For now, go to your professors’ office hours and ask them questions about the subject. Tell them about your interests, ask them about research and just have a conversation. Also look into research opportunities in a field that interests you.
If you can’t find a club to join

Keep searching. Go to open meetings. Talk to people about what they’re involved in. Attend events. And if you can’t find anything that interests you, start an organization about something you care about.

You thought college would be super busy but aside from homework, you don’t have much going on. To solve this, join some clubs, go to events on campus and volunteer in the community. Try a new sport. Read a book. Meet new people. Though it might start to get a little familiar on campus, there’s still so much to discover.

Though your schedule can start to seem repetitive, there are so many options and opportunities in college. If you find yourself feeling bored or lost, take advantage of the resources on your campus and discover what your school has to offer. Talk to a study abroad advisor, learn about Greek Life, get involved in your major, learn a new language, do some research and make the most of your experience on campus.

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the author

Paige Sheffield is a student at Central Michigan University. In addition to writing for The Prospect, she writes for her campus newspaper, You On Top Magazine, and more. She is also a TP Editorial Internship Co-coordinator. She loves poetry, coffee, statement jewelry, zumba, politics, and the Great Lakes. She is passionate about arts education and currently volunteers and interns with organizations that provide art-related programming to underserved populations. You can follow her on twitter @paige_sheff.

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