One commonly expressed fear for first year students is leaving their old friends back home and trying to find new friends and create a niche at their new school. It can be rather daunting heading to a new place where you may not know anyone. However, there is no need to worry. There are plenty of opportunities to meet other students and create long-lasting friendships.
My first suggestion would be to literally keep your door open. During the first couple weeks of the semester almost all first year students will want to meet new people and create friendships. By leaving your door open in your dorm there is a good chance other students will pop there heads in and introduce themselves.
Another suggestion is get involved! I transferred to the University of Minnesota my sophomore year and was not able to meet new friends through the traditional first year dorm experience. So, I decided to get involved in a few organizations and ended up meeting a ton of new friends. During the first couple weeks of the semester you will receive a lot of flyers and emails from different student organizations trying to persuade you into coming to their kickoff meetings. A lot of times they will even tempt you with free pizza! I suggest looking at some of these organizations and check them out if they interest you. Meeting other students who share similar interests can be a great way to find a niche at your new school.
After I transferred to the University of Minnesota I was sent an email from the College of Liberal Arts Student Board telling me they were going to have an initial information meeting for anyone interested in having a greater voice in their education. I thought this would be a great way to get involved and the free pizza didn't hurt either =] ...Now looking back, this was one of the best decisions I have made at this University. I have met a ton of new people through this organization and have become great friends with a few. I ended up serving two years as the Chair for the External Relations Committee and I am currently in my fourth year as a member. I also learned about the creation of a new group that was looking for students to serve as Ambassadors for the College of Liberal Arts. I learned about this opportunity through my connections from the Student Board. This Student Ambassador group has also helped me make a deeper connection to this University. This goes to show that taking the initial step toward joining a student organization can lead to many more opportunities in the future.
I definitely found my niche with these specific organizations which helped me make a smooth transition to the University of Minnesota.
So get involved!