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How to "Fit In" at College

College student sitting in dorm

Congratulations! You've successfully made one of the biggest transitions in life, and are well on your way to mature independence! Like many of us when we moved away, you're likely feeling nervous on "fitting in" and starting your college socializing journey. Many of us were, it's a very natural feeling.

But don't worry! If you're feeling anxious about moving or are already moved-in and wanting to start, we at Nucleus Tutoring is here to help you make the best of your college year!

Tip #1 - Everyone Feels the Way You Do

Trust me, you may think you're alone in your feelings but I assure you you're not. In fact, I'd place a good bet most everyone in your position feels similarly. Even in my 3rd year of medical school, I still feel nervous meeting new people, but keeping in mind that people in college are all feeling the same really helps the long-term stress we put on ourselves. You're not weird for being nervous, you're just already fitting in.

Tip #2 - 20 Seconds of Courage

Now that we know nearly everyone feels the same as us, what do we do? We want to make friends and enjoy our time but we need friends to do that, how do we make more?? All it takes is 20 seconds of Courage. 20 seconds to just say hi to someone whose shirt you like, or 20 seconds to ask someone about themselves. You don't need to be courageous 24/7, only 20 seconds. Will it feel a bit embarrassing at first? Maybe, but that's natural. The more you do it, the less nervous you'll feel, and soon enough you'll have your friend group. It takes time, but you'll thank yourself later for going for it.

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” -Benjamin Mee

Tip #3 - Get Involved!

Welcome week events coming up? Have fun with it! See a club you like? Join up! Doing similar things in the same environment fosters good friendship with others, mainly because there's always a common conversation topic. I met some of my best friends in a volleyball club, and would have never come across them without it. Volunteering, sports, study groups, interest clubs, local events are all great places to find your niche, so use your 20 seconds and give it a try!

Tip #4 - Awkward Moments

Every single person I know has done something awkward at some point. Every. Single. Person. Life is going to be awkward at times, but don't worry! Take it in stride, learn to laugh at yourself, people will forget and friends may even find it charming. Can you remember every awkward moment your hometown friends have done? Unless you've got a photographic memory, probably not! So don't worry, brush it off, and know that nobody will remember it even a week from now.

Tip #5 - Your Mental Health Matters!

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in balancing our academics and socializing we forget to take some time for ourselves, common but big mistake! Your self care exists to keep burnout away, and neglecting your "you time" can greatly negatively affect both your grades and your friends. Feeling homesick? Go home for the weekend! Just finish a hard test and need a nap? Nap away! (Just try not to miss classes/assignments!) Grab your favorite snack or person and have a binge night with your favorite show!

If stress becomes too much, don't hesitate to reach out and talk to someone, whether it's a trusted friend or licensed therapist. Many schools offer some free therapy for students, and if you need any offsite recommendations we're happy to offer therapists local to Mid-Michigan on the Nucleus Tutoring site. We'll be here for you and your needs day-in and day-out.


College is great! Starting can feel overwhelming, but you'll soon find that you're in for a great 3+ years! If you find yourself struggling with test/school anxiety, grade mishaps, or just want to improve your GPA in school, feel free to visit the Nucleus Tutoring site or the Free Resources we offer!

Best of luck, you'll do great!



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