When you get on campus, what’s the first thing you should do? Okay, sure, you unpack, you say bye to your parents, and you collect your dorm room essentials from the bookstore. But after that? The answer: start saying hi to EVERYONE. Be aggressively social and meet as many people as humanly possibleSquad. during your first year of college. When I got to campus in August, I was pretty worried. I hadn’t gotten any of my top 5 housing preferences, and I had no idea what to expect. But as soon as I had moved in, I started saying hi to everyone. To people moving in, to the orientation staff, even to the guards at the front desk. I made a point to meet as

RSG Banquet. I'm on the right.

RSG Banquet. I’m on the right.

many people as I could, and it’s one of the best decisions I made coming to college. The girl I sat across from at the Viterbi Welcome Back Luau is one of my closest friends now, and she jokes that when she met me, she thought I was super confident and outgoing. Honestly, I was a pretty quiet kid in high school. I just wanted to meet more people in college.

I met some of my best friends this year through chance encounters, and I know that I wouldn’t have met them if I hadn’t reached out first. Remember that when you get on campus, all the fear and excitement and confus

Birthdays on a budget.

ion you’
re feeling, everyone else is, too. If you want to reinvent yourself for college, that’s fine! Just make sure that whoever you do reinvent into is still
you. Don’t try to become something you’re not. Don’t try to impress the people you meet, and don’t try to put up a front. Find the people you with whom you find an authentic connection, and surround yourself with those people. And go beyond your hallway! Meet people from all around campus from as many different places as possible. Here’s the way I see it: all you have to do is say hello. 5-10 seconds, tops. And in return, you have the chance at a lifelong friendship. Those are some fantastic odds.

And if you’re feeling down because you haven’t found your “squad” yet, don’t worry. If you haven’t those people, you will, just give it time and keep saying hi. Your best friends are out there, you just haven’t met them yet. The Trojan Family is real.

Give it time, and you’ll find it too.