Valley social scene hinders first-year experience

Julio Rodriguez
Creative Editor

Since I started at community college, one thing has been brutally clear; a majority of people are not willing to make new friends.

I had preconceived notions that I would develop connections right off the bat with random peers and end up developing endearing connections that would last a lifetime.

Obviously, TV and movies have ruined my grasp on reality.

The cliques and overall social setting on campus make it clear that many students at Hudson Valley are perpetually stuck in their high school lives.

College is a time to make connections and to break out of that awkward teen phase of life. I noticed quickly that a majority of the younger students on campus stick with their peers from high school. High school is a time of exceptional growth, but we all graduate for a pretty clear reason: to move onto the next phase of life away from high school.

Personal growth can be advanced or limited by the social interactions made at college. Staying close with friends from high school makes it nearly impossible for outsiders to make new relationships, and it’s even comical to think that people would want to repeat high school with the same faces everyday.

Hudson Valley is home to a non-traditional crowd of college students who are less likely to spark up conversation.

There are hoards of people who come to campus, go to their classes and drive home with little to no social interaction with others. This strategy is likely to yield a less fulfilling college experience. It appears that students are looking to gain an associates, not an well-rounded college experience, which is true of many two-year institutions.

Students have the right to come to campus and go to their classes, but that can make things monotonous. Many of the students at Hudson Valley are juggling work, school and other obligations, which can make finding time to socialize difficult. The social aspect of community college is probably put on the back burner for these students.

At four-year universities, students are pushed to make connections because everyone usually lives on campus. Hudson Valley is a commuter school, and the thought of walking up to a stranger to start a conversation is excruciatingly awkward.

Those who are struggling to make friends shouldn’t worry too much. No one should have to feel lonely on a campus of 10,000 plus students. There are likely other people on campus who are also looking to make some friends.

There is one pivotal strategy to implement which can make these potential friends a reality.

Those looking to make friends can join a club. Not all students have the pleasure of interacting with their peers from high school, and joining a club can open up an opportunity to make more friends on campus.

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