Recently, I had a conversation with a co-worker, and he told me his opinion about fraternity life. He wasn’t into it, but a lot of his friends wanted him to join. Some frats are great for how to meet people. He told me about how “rushed” two frats, but realized that the two groups only interact with each other. He said the frat was only inclusive with their own group, and the party only had people with their frat.
The reason why he wasn’t into this frat is because he recognized how the group doesn’t branch out to others He claimed these people spend all of their time living and partying together. Sometimes, the frat will ridicule their own members for hanging out with other groups. From his perspective, the frat didn’t tolerate any diversity. How can you learn how to meet people if you taunt them for doing so?
It is essential to branch out of a group. C’mon don’t you get sick of them sometimes?
In my Freshman year, I checked out a variety of different groups to see which ones I liked. I checked out the Filipino Group, met up with connect groups for Church, and balanced athletics. I put myself out there in different groups. Instead of asking yourself how to meet people, just go out there and do it.
In my case, the NYU Track and Field/XC team I’m involved with also spends a lot of time with each other. We study together, workout together, live with each other, and meet up for breakfast and dinner. A majority of our parties are only within the team as well.
The important thing is that we all make an effort to have a life outside of the team. When college is over and we’re all finished with running, what will happen if we didn’t have any energy focused on other people? What if we never put effort on how to meet people?
Life will still move on, but you won’t grow.
For my example, we all study in New York City. It’d be a complete waste to not spend any of that time building connections. I need to take advantage of one of the premier entertainment, media, and financial capitals of the world. There are millions of people I see walking across the streets to class, during work, and in the athletic facility.
These are all potential connections to make, a chance to learn something from someone’s own speciality…
A new person in your life is a chance to adopt a feature of someone’s personality; you might even learn an important life lesson from them down the road. The next time you walk down the street, take note of all of the special personalities in your area. Those are all possible experiences, interests, and different perspectives you can absorb.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the time to meet everyone.
This is not an excuse to single ourselves out with only one group of people. These college years are crucial, and they’ll serve as the building blocks for the rest of our careers. Networking is not hard, it comes down to just making friends. It doesn’t have to be super professional (handing out cards, formal emails etc.) it could be just a simple inside joke you have with someone…or a love hate relationship with your mutual sports team for example. (see: San Diego Chargers if you want to express your frustration with me).
Before you know it, you’re hanging out with that person, and then they introduce you to someone who knew this guy, who knew this guy, who knew this guy, who knew this guy…
(throwback to the golden years)
You get the point.
Pretty soon you’ll meet up with someone who can introduce you to a professional in the field that you want to get involved in: Athletics, arts, marketing club, fraternities, sororities, church group…
…and those groups will also open up more opportunities for you.
Don’t make one group your only source of happiness in your life. This doesn’t have to apply to only college. You need to have a life outside of your primary group of friends.