In between moving from country to country and changing schools, I have met a lot of different people. People with different languages, different beliefs, different values and even religions. At first it was a struggle for me, because I was raised in a certain way and took on most of my parents' values, including their political opinions. As time went on I changed, which was pretty much the greatest thing that could have happened to me. As a result, I have friends and acquaintances from different walks of life, and it has helped shape me into the person that I am today.
So dear freshmen, transfers students and even returning Wagner students who have yet to 'BREAK OUT OF THAT SHELL,' below are my guidelines to doing just that:
Go beyond cliques:
I personally think cliques are the most redundant, High School Musical-ish concept and should be banned from colleges. No, I am not saying don't have a group of friends, but instead learn to meet new people besides the people you do everyday activities with. I am the type of girl to have a friend in almost every friend group that exists around me. This ranges from sorority sisters, to athletes, to theater majors and the Muslim Student Association! The list is endless. You might never know when you need help in that intro to acting class or when you need an athlete to show you how to use the gym because you've never actually been inside one before (YES THIS IS ME). You know what they say, variety is the spice of life.
Join a club or organization:
Oh, do I love extracurricular activities. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, literally. What is the actual point of college life if all you do is go to class, listen to professor, go to the library, come back to your room and sleep? Of course your degree is NUMBER ONE PRIORITY (don't be silly and let all that money go to waste) but also make time for some fun in your life. One of my favorite things to do my freshman year was the free yoga class offered by the Center for Intercultural Advancement. Besides the fact I realized how unflexible I was, it was a good stress relief. (P.S. The real college fun and parties actually come from the clubs.) Wagner has so many clubs and organizations, you are bound to find one that fits your interests.
Get involved on campus:
Do you feel like none of the above is helpful to you at all? Well, start your own thing. Join the Student Government Association, get involved with WagCAB (Wagner Campus Activities Board). These are just a few ways to make your voice heard and also bring something new to campus. And guess what? It's the best way to meet even more new people, too. Win-win situation.
Go to games:
One of the best ways to break out of your shell on campus is to attend our games, rock that green and white and show your WAGNER SCHOOL SPIRIT! True to my British form, I am a diehard s̶o̶c̶c̶e̶r̶ football fan. (Nope I don't care, I shall always refer to it as football like I always have, but that's another blog post for another day.) I have supported Chelsea FC from the very minute I knew what s̶o̶c̶c̶e̶r̶ football was — my two older brothers made sure of this. Nigeria is also the current African Nations Cup champions, so you get the point; I love s̶o̶c̶c̶e̶r̶ football A LOT. Shout out to the Wagner women's soccer team, you guys rock! (I mean, what is better than a group of young talented women in a male dominated sport?)
And there you have it folks!
College is all about actively pursuing your dream and meeting new people from around the world. At Wagner College we have students from over 50 countries. Take advantage of this diversity today, learn about a new culture, and, most importantly, break out of that shell.