Book cover for Connections Are Everything: A College Student's Guide to Relationship-Rich Education by Peter Felten, Leo M. Lambert, Isis Artze-Vega, and Oscar R. Miranda Tapia. An illustration of a female student in graduation cap and gown is surrounded by illustrations of various people (other students, professors, and many other people) -- all these people are connected by lines, forming a network.
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ISBN: 9781421443126

Johns Hopkins University Press, July 2023

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This chapter shows how a single connection can be the foundation for a student’s relationship-rich college experiences.

There is not one path or simple  recipe to building that first relationship, and some students struggle for a long time to connect with anyone in college.

The chapter uses stories to show how some students started with one meaningful relationship, and also how other students struggled to find that connection.

Ask Yourself...

  1. Have you met anyone yet who might be the “start” to your relationship-rich education? If you have, how will you deepen this relationship?
  2. If you haven’t found that person yet, make a list of people who could potentially be an initial connection for you. If you don’t have specific people in mind, you might just list categories of people (for example, a professor, or a student who has already been admitted to the nursing program). How can you begin to establish connections with this person or these people?
  3. Could you help someone else start their relationship building? What could you do to help that person make meaningful connections in college?

Try This!

  1. Follow your college on social media to find out about upcoming events. Choose one to attend, whether in person or virtually, then hang around for a few minutes after it ends to chat with people there about the event.
  2. Find out where the career services staff are located or how to access online assistance (by searching on your college website), and make an appointment to talk to someone about your career goals.
  3. Get to one of your classes early, look for a friendly face, and introduce yourself. A simple, “Hi, I’m ____; it’s nice to meet you” can be enough for an initial connection.