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

Read for free on Project Muse

In this chapter, we illuminate some of the obstacles students may encounter while in college or concerns students bring with them to college about connecting with others.

The chapter helps students identify common relational difficulties and to develop strategies for connection that will enable them thrive academically and personally.

Ask Yourself...

  1. What is the most significant challenge you are feeling about making the transition into or your time in college?
  2. What is one simple, concrete action you could take as a positive step to address this challenge?
  3. Who is one person at your college (a professor, staff member, or peer) who might help you address this challenge? How can you connect with that person?

Try This!

  1. Join one or two student clubs or organizations (in person or online) where you think you might “find your people.” It’s usually better to focus on a small number of clubs or organizations where you can really get involved rather than overcommitting to too many groups and making shallower connections.
  2. Make it a habit to introduce yourself to peers you meet in class or on campus. Simply learning the names of other people is often the first step in building relationships.
  3. Not every college student has concerns about building new relationships with peers. If that describes you, consider taking on a peer leadership role early in your time in college because your interpersonal skills and confidence can help others make connections and find their way.
  4. If you have any concerns pertaining to physical or mental health, if you have a learning difference, or if you would like to use another college resource necessary for your success, find the appropriate office (online or on campus) and email or stop by to set up an initial conversation with someone who can help you understand what is available to you as a student.