Posted by: Lisa | June 7, 2012

TIPS FOR ADJUSTING TO CAMPUS CULTURE

There’s no better way to adjust to campus culture than to dive into campus life!  Here are 5 simple ways that you can become more involved in activities on campus and build relationships with fellow classmates.

1. Be yourself: Don’t try to be someone you are not in order to fit into the campus culture.  Colleges admit students with a variety of backgrounds to create a diverse campus culture in which student learn from one another.  Don’t try to hide your military service – embrace it!

 2. Avoid military jargon: Although you want to stay true to yourself, using military terms or jargon may create a barrier between you and fellow students who are unfamiliar with these terms.  Be respectful to your professors, but avoid calling them sir or ma’am.  Lastly, when communicating via email with classmates, avoid introducing unnecessary formality by using “respectfully (r/)” or “very respectfully (v/r)” and instead use more casual signature lines like “Best” or simply closing with your name.

 3. Join an intramural (IM) sports  league: IM sports are not only a great way to stay in shape but will also introduce you to a group of students with similar interests  in a collaborative, team environment . Being a member of a sports league is a great way to feel part of the larger campus community.  If your school does not have on-campus sports leagues, explore similar options through neighborhood recreational leagues, many of which are likely to have participants from your school.

 4. Get involved with a campus organization: Most colleges have numerous campus organizations, such as student government, newspapers, theater clubs, debate teams, etc.  Find a club or activity aligned with one of your interests and join!  Contributing to part of the university and building relationships with other students is a fantastic way to feel part of the campus, adjust to campus culture, and assume a campus leadership role.

 5. Join a student or alumni veterans club: Many colleges have active vet clubs or alumni groups. Student Veterans of America (SVA) also has college chapters across the country.  Build a support network with fellow vets transitioning to campus life and culture.  If your university does not have a veterans club, create one or start a SVA chapter at your school!

Please send any questions and comments to switchstarter@gmail.com

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