The Social Butterfly

When I first arrived to college I was worried about how I would be interactive knowing that I had so many options. So I found friends in classes and I joined clubs with them but if I were on my own, would I have joined anything? For freshmen the hardest decision is where to begin. There are various ways to stay social including socializing with your roommates or in class as long as you remain interactive your first year you will build those relationships and connections. With so many options available on campus staying social won’t be hard as long as you start where you want. So how might freshman stay social with the many alternatives of interacting with others are available to them on campus?

Students like me often struggle when transitioning from high school to college because they aren’t aware about their options. Students can interact in clubs or sports but the struggle is where to start. I searched for ways students can be interactive their first year. I found an article called One Small Step, One Giant Leap, written by Emily Jacobs from the Baltimore Jewish Times. She talks about her experience her freshman year and how she became socially involved. Jacobs states “by getting involved in clubs and even by living in my apartment building and dorm, I was able to meet and learn about the many different lifestyles that exists” (Jacobs, Emily). What this means is that by being interactive in what college has to offer a student then you have a great social outcome.

How to remain social is the question everyone is asking. I discovered this article about being in a closed space with others forces interaction and maintain status. This article is called Aggression, Exclusivity, and Status Attainment in Interpersonal Networks, which is written by Robert Faris. I explored this very dense article and stumbled upon the subsection Connectivity or Exclusivity? This discusses how status, networks, connections, and closed spaces are responsible for interaction. According to Faris “nesting network closure within a broader network of structural holes,….. bridging ties outside the group” (Faris, Robert).These display how social interactions in spaces result in more social connections.

When freshman come to college being social can involve substances. I discovered an article about how who you interact with in your leisure can result in drug and alcohol abuse. The article is Peer Groups and Substance Use: Examining the Direct and Interactive Effect of Leisure Activity which is written by professors Thorolfur Thorlindsson and Jon Gunnar Bernburg . According to Thorlindsson and Bernburg “…some forms of leisure activity may help integrate adolescents …enable them to reach shared societal goals, whereas other activities may foster subcultures that challenge the normative consensus…..” (Thorlindsson and Bernburg). This shows how leisure can lead to greater or worse depending on how they interact. The activities can vary and limit students if they choose to involve themselves with drugs and alcohol.

College is a place to form new friendships and to take advantage of the opportunities that are offered. When freshman go to college, what worries them the most is “What club should I join?” or “How am I going to get involved?” these aspects of college cause freshman to struggle while adapting. So how might freshman stay social with the many alternatives of interacting with others are available to them on campus?

Club, sports, class, and jobs are all interactions available to freshmen on a college campus. Partying is also very accessible, and that involves substance use. These are all social outlets that can impact a freshman college experience, but can only happen if they allow themselves to be social. Freshmen can find it hard to socialize on campus because of the options available, but they are all connected in a way that can build them relationships. How might a student start to interact with others if they don’t want to join a club or sport?

All It Takes Is One Step

To begin with, an article called “One Small Step, One Giant Leap” by an editorial intern named Emily Jacobs who shared her freshman college experience. The article spoke about how shocked she was walking into a 200 person lecture hall, moving into an apartment with strangers, but most importantly included how involved she was. She joined a club, a sport, and got an on campus job but became even more social amongst her roommates and within classes. According to Jacobs, “By getting involved in the clubs and even by living in my apartment building and dorm, I was able to meet and learn about the many different kinds of lifestyles that exist” (Jacobs, Emily). Her involvement motivated her to stay social, she saw her options and took the opportunity. She also talks about how these outlets have helped her evolve from her high school self by becoming more independent and responsible.

Staying Connected

Next, I read how compact areas can help build ties and relationships in an article named “Aggression, Exclusivity, and Status Attainment in Interpersonal Networks” written by Robert Faris. Now Faris goes on about how aggression and exclusivity have a huge part in obtaining relationships but how they can be built in enclosed spaces such as a university. This article helps show, how being in a compact place can create a social environment among college students. Faris states: “I measure connectivity….which is maximized by having many ties to alters who themselves have many ties, who themselves have many ties” (Faris, Robert). This represents that interacting creates more relationships which can be obtained by joining clubs or sports.

The connections between the two articles are related to increasing interactions in college. Now by being in an enclosed space like a university, a student can increase socialization by interacting in the options that college offers. They correlate because they both support connecting with others no matter the circumstance. College is a place that revolves around socializing and connecting to eventually build future relationships.

Alternate Activities

Furthermore, the last article I read called “Peer Groups and Substance Use: Examining the Direct and Interactive Effect of Leisure Activity” by Thorolfur Thorlindsson and Jon Gunnar Bernburg speaks about students in their leisure involving substance use. Amongst the options there are parties in college that are a huge aspect in socializing. Although there is substance use while partying, it doesn’t mean that all students will be involved. According to Thorlindsson and Bernburg, “…..take into account different peer leisure activities in order to understand adolescent substance use” (Thorlindsson, Thorolfur and Bernburg, Jon). This represents how students socialize everywhere throughout college because it’s their human nature, and with the many options they have, there are no limitations. For most freshmen the goal is to socialize and build connections.

Connecting relationships built in enclosed spaces that can possibly involve substance use are correlated with socializing in college. Being in a college environment that is full of interacting in many ways can lead to new experiences. No matter the activity or social event, most students interact no matter what it involves. There are so many ways to interact in college that they can explore which can be discovered in The Social Butterfly Theory. What different types of interactive activities are available on a college campus?

The Social Butterfly Theory

Being a freshman in college can be hard because you’re new, fragile, and maybe indecisive especially when it comes to being social. Do you want to join a club that you think you might like or try something new? Well there are so many options to choose from in college that to know where to start, you have to interact. So how might freshman stay social with the many alternatives of interacting with others are available to them on campus?

The effects of socializing on campus can change the experience a freshman can have because they are offered so much more than they were in high school. More clubs, sports, even jobs on campus, more options can cause stress. With so many options available freshman are bound to stay social somehow because they are surrounded by interaction. Being proactive within these options can teach freshmen how to deal with decisions in the future. With the many possibilities to stay social on campus, freshmen are able to interact with others in many ways if they put themselves out there. Being a social butterfly in college can lead to lifelong relationships and connections that can happen by joining a club, sport, or job and even socializing in class.

Freshman Year

The first year in college can be hard especially when there are so many ways to stay social and how to start can be difficult. There are clubs, sports, jobs, roommates, and strangers to meet; a college campus is big and full of people who want to interact. Everyone has started socializing somewhere and although there are a lot of options, getting out there will be the best decision because that’s where opportunities are offered and made. Interacting and joining something can bring the full experience of college your freshmen year because you’ll make these connections that you’d never expect, in the future people look back on their freshmen year in college and think about all of the memories and experiences they made, don’t you want that? The Social Butterfly Theory can lead freshmen into bigger opportunities because they are offered so much, so by putting themselves out there can experience what they have possibly always wanted in a college experience. Socializing in college can provide so much for an individual where they will be able to interact in any environment just by being proactive.

References

· Jacobs, Emily. “One Small Step, One Giant Leap.” One Small Step, One Giant Leap (n.d.): n. pag. OneSearch. Web. Apr.-May 2017.

· Robert Faris; Aggression, Exclusivity, and Status Attainment in Interpersonal Networks. Soc Forces 2012; 90 (4): 1207–1235. doi: 10.1093/sf/sos074

· Thorlindsson, Thorolfur and Jon Gunnar Bernburg. “Peer Groups and Substance Use: Examining the Direct and Interactive Effect of Leisure Activity.” Adolescence, vol. 41, no. 162, Summer2006, pp. 321–339. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.library.wwu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=hch&AN=22251598&site=ehost-live.