Making Waves Education Foundation » Wave-Maker Success Framework » Navigating College Life » Navigating College Life: Community and Connection
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Developing a “home away from home”

For many college students, their dorm room is their first taste of living on their own. It can be both exhilarating and daunting to have your own space, but with a little bit of effort, it’s easy to make your dorm feel like a home away from home. 

Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Get to know your roommates and hallmates

One of the best ways to make your dorm feel like home is to get to know the people you’re living with. Take some time to introduce yourself to your roommates and the people on your floor, and see if you can find common interests. Once you’ve made some friends, you’ll start to feel more comfortable in your new surroundings. 

2. Make your dorm room your own

Another way to make your dorm feel like home is to personalize your space. Bring along some pictures from home, put up some posters, and add any other touches that will make your room feel like it belongs to you. This will help you feel more relaxed and comfortable in your new environment. 

3. Get involved on campus

A big part of feeling at home in college is getting involved in campus life. See if there are any clubs or organizations that interest you, or sign up for an intramural sports team. Getting involved in campus activities is a great way to meet new people and make friends. 

Making your dorm feel like home doesn’t have to be difficult. By getting to know your roommates and hall mates, personalizing your space, and getting involved in campus life, you’ll be well on your way to making your dorm feel like a second home in no time.

Building new relationships 

College is a time for exploration and growth, both academically and personally. For many students, it is also a time to build new relationships and make lifelong friends.

If you’re wondering how to make friends in college, here are a few tips to get you started. 

1. Get involved on campus 

One of the best ways to meet new people in college is to get involved with student organizations and clubs that align with your interests. Not only will you have the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals, but you’ll also have the chance to develop leadership skills and build your resume. Attending campus events is also a great way to get out there and meet new people.

From concerts and comedy shows to film festivals and lectures, there’s always something going on at college campuses. And don’t forget about sporting events! Cheering on your school’s team is a great way to show school spirit and make new friends. 

2. Join a study group 

If you’re looking for a more academic way to make friends in college, why not join a study group? This is a great way to meet new people who are taking the same classes as you and who share your commitment to academic success.

Working together on assignments and preparing for exams can help you form strong bonds with your study group members. And if you ever need help with anything, chances are one of them will be more than happy to lend a hand. 

3. Volunteer together 

Giving back is a great way to feel good about yourself and bond with new friends at the same time. There are always opportunities to volunteer on college campuses, whether it’s helping out with campus events or working with local organizations in the community. You can even sign up for alternative spring break trips where you’ll spend your vacation volunteering in another community. Volunteering is a great way to make a difference while also getting to know new people. 

Making friends in college can be easy if you put yourself out there and take advantage of all the opportunities available to you. From getting involved on campus to joining a study group or volunteering together, there are plenty of ways to meet new people and form lasting friendships during your college years.

So don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone—you might just end up making some great friends in the process! 

Getting connected on campus

Starting college can be tough. There’s so much to learn and keep track of, from your classes and professors to new friends and campus resources. It can be tough to keep everything straight, especially in those first few weeks. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most out of your college experience.

In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to get connected to resources on campus. 

1. Attend orientation 

One of the best ways to get connected to resources on campus is to attend orientation. At orientation, you’ll learn about all the different resources that are available to you as a student. You’ll also have a chance to meet other students and get familiar with your surroundings. If you’re not able to attend orientation, don’t worry! There are plenty of other ways to get connected. 

2. Join student organizations 

Another great way to get connected on campus is to join student organizations. There are organizations for just about everything, so chances are you’ll be able to find one that aligns with your interests. Student organizations are a great way to meet new people and get involved in campus life. They can also help you connect with resources that you might not be aware of otherwise. 

2. Talk to your professors 

Your professors are another great resource for getting connected on campus. They can help point you in the right direction for finding the resources you need. They can also give you advice on how best to use those resources. So don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors if you need help getting connected! 

There are lots of great resources available on college campuses, but it can sometimes be difficult to find them or know how best to use them. If you’re having trouble getting connected, try attending orientation, joining student organizations, or talking to your professors.

With a little effort, you’ll be sure to find all the resources you need! 

Navigating relationships and life happenings with friends, family, coaches, professors, mentors, etc. 

When you think about the people in your life, who do you think of? Your family, friends, coaches, professors, mentors…the list goes on. Each person plays a different role in your life, and each relationship is important in its own way.

Though they may be different, all these relationships have one thing in common: they require communication.


Your family is the foundation upon which you build your life. They are the ones who have known you the longest and seen you through your ups and downs. They are also the ones who will be there for you long after your other relationships have ended. We may not always see eye to eye with our family members, but we love them anyway.

Family relationships can be complicated, but they are also very special. Because of this, it is important to keep the lines of communication open with your family. Talk to them about your life, your successes and failures, and your plans for the future. They will be happy to listen (and may even have some helpful advice to offer)!


Friends are the people you choose to have in your life. You may not have known them as long as your family, but that doesn’t make the friendship any less special. Friends are there for you when you need them and can always make you laugh.

Like with family, it is important to communicate with your friends. Tell them about your day-to-day happenings and listen to what they have to say. You never know when a friend might need a shoulder to cry on or someone to celebrate with.

Coaches, professors, and mentors

These are the people who help you achieve your goals—whether they are personal or professional. They believe in you and want to see you succeed. Because of this, it is important to be open and honest with them about your progress (or lack thereof). This way, they can help you get back on track if needed and celebrate your successes with you when things are going well. Good communication is key in these relationships! 

All relationships require communication—this is true for family, friends, coaches, professors, mentors, and everyone else in between. When you take the time to talk to the people in your life, you will find that these relationships are more fulfilling and satisfying. So go ahead and reach out to those around you—you might be surprised at how much better you feel! 

Co-authored with AI
Making Waves Education Foundation generated this text in part with artificial intelligence. Content has been reviewed, edited, and revised to our organization’s liking and we take ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.

About Making Waves Education Foundation

At Making Waves, we are committed to educational equity. Making Waves Education Foundation is a Bay Area nonprofit that supports Making Waves Academy – a public charter school with more than 1,100 5th through 12th grade students – and leads college and career programming with more than 430 college students.​

Knowing the opportunities that come with a college degree, we partner with historically underrepresented and underserved students to help make college affordable and graduation attainable. Centering the journeys of our students, our personalized approach includes college and career coaching, scholarships, and financial planning.​

Our alumni network includes more than 730 college graduates, who earn their degrees and land jobs at more than twice the rate of their first-generation, low-income peers, with 85% graduating debt-free.

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