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Guide to college life part II: Socialize and get involved

Mary (left) with her Southern Style 2013 teammates, Kalen Kenney and Emily Radcliffe. -Courtesy Photo
Mary (left) with her Southern Style 2013 teammates, Kalen Kenney and Emily Radcliffe. -Photo by Alex Doleac

A healthy social life is everything a college student needs to get through each day. 

Whether you enjoy long walks on Longleaf Trace with your best friends, spending your entire paycheck on one weekend in New Orleans or bouncing from meeting to meeting, we all need something to keep us alive when all we feel like doing is crawling into a hole.

For those of you I have become aquainted with throughout the past four years, you might know that a healthy social life is something that I have taken three years to master.

From freshman to junior year, you could pretty much bank on me being at any and every party.  Whether it was a fraternity house or a bar, if there were red solo cups involved, I was about it.  I took more pride in my beer pong technique than I did my schoolwork.  

Now, I am not saying that going out to parties and getting a few drinks in your system is bad, but learn your limits early on.  If you don’t, you could end up in some compromising predicaments.  I can say from firsthand experience, getting too intoxicated isn’t worth the humiliation, regret and other horrible things that could happen if you aren’t being careful.  

With that being said, if your idea of a social life doesn’t involve strutting down fraternity row every weekend night that is perfectly fine and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Another part of having a social life is exploring your passions with other like-minded individuals.  And, yes, sometimes the things you are passionate about change.   

Explore everything.  College is the time to find what really gets your blood pumping. 

You are going to want to spend time socializing with people who think the way you do and are passionate about the things you are passionate about.  Find these people and make a conscious effort to keep them in your life.

Lastly, everything you are doing right now is going to get you somewhere.  You want to take leadership roles, volunteer and get out of your comfort zone.  I have spent a lot of my time at Southern Miss serving the university.  I have learned so much during my years here.  

Through Southern Style, I learned how to be a servant leader and that one summer can turn a group of friends into family.  Through SGA, I learned what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. 

And, through writing and photographing for The Student Printz, I have found a way to express myself. It is something I am proud of.  

Every college student should have those kinds of opportunities.  Don’t be intimidated because you weren’t the president of any clubs in high school or weren’t in any clubs at all.  You never know what you’ll learn when you incorporate campus involvement into your social life.

College isn’t all about the grades you make, the books you read and how many all-nighters you have stuck through.  College is also about creating lasting friendships, finding yourself and exploring all that life can offer you.  This campus is your oyster and you should make the most of it. 

Take these tips, spread your wings and become the social butterfly you have always wanted to be.  

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Guide to college life part II: Socialize and get involved