When I was a freshman, I didn’t leave the confines of campus for months. I was in “the college bubble.” It’s a phenomenon where new freshman forget that anything exists outside of their campus. More often than not, the college bubble goes unnoticed and unchecked. Getting involved on campus is a vital part of college life. Yet, it’s also important for college students to realize there’s a world outside of campus. The community around your campus is vibrant, and you should strive to be involved in it!
Breaking the college bubble can be tough when you’re in a new environment and you’re just so excited to be in college. It is easy to absorb yourself in college life and never leave campus. To help you, here are 5 ways for you to break the college bubble and be involved in the community around you!
- Volunteer in your community. Volunteering is one of the best ways to interact with members of your new college town and become a part of the community. I truly believe getting off campus and interacting with other people in your town is an amazing opportunity to grow as a person. Not to mention it looks great on a resume, can provide networking opportunities for your career, and it makes you feel good! Try to really dedicate yourself to one cause and make an effort to show up every week – organizations in college towns really appreciate students who show up and actually care about the cause.
- Watch/Read the news. While I usually don’t have time to watch the news, I love reading the news. Especially the skimm. The Skimm is a newsletter that summarizes the news for you every morning in your inbox. I love it because it gives you just enough info about every topic so you can sound intelligent in conversation. Trust me, you don’t want to be the only person who hasn’t heard about Brexit 2 weeks later! Even just a quick scan can help ensure that you have some clue of what is happening outside of your campus!
- Go to off-campus events. With everything going on around campus, it can be easy to forget that there is a whole town around you! Look into local events and make an effort to go to them! Take some friends and explore your new home for the next 4 years. Honestly, it’s sad how some college seniors know nothing about the town their college is in. There are awesome events and activities out there – make an effort to find them and I promise it will be worth it.
- Visit home. This will always be a balancing act. I wouldn’t recommend visiting home for the first month or so after getting on campus. However, it’s important to stay involved with your family. As fun as college is – your family misses you and wants to see you as well. Visiting home and remembering your life before college is a great way to break the college bubble. College is great, but family is forever, and you should really work to continue those relationships.
- Eat off campus. Trust me on this one. I know it seems crazy to eat off campus when you have a meal plan, but you will thank me in December when you’re incredibly sick of everything the dining halls offer and you just miss home-cooking. Explore your town and look for local restaurants to enjoy every so often – it will be nice to get away from the same exact choices every day. An added bonus? When friends and family come to visit you will have a great list of local restaurants to take them to!
So there you have it – my list of ways to break the college bubble! Don’t let yourself get so absorbed in your campus that you forget about the community you live in. The community welcomes students every year. Don’t be another student who shows up once and disappears.
Do you have a different way to break the bubble? Have you ever thought about the bubble before? Let me know in the comments!