Written by Anyun Chatterjee (PEACE Advisor)
So the question remains, how do I stay social? How do I avoid FOMO? And how the hell can I do all this without messing up my schedule?
I found the answer in Facebook Messenger and Google Calendar. I got into the habit of putting my class schedule + office hours, study times, exams, and various other academic events onto my calendar very early into my freshman year (something I highly recommend you do if have not done so yet and are having trouble with time management). By the end of my freshman year I was putting not only class-related events onto my calendar, but I also color coded everything by creating separate calendars for classes, office hours, exams, study time, parties, club meetings, and so on.
However, as you must have realized, upon leaving the dorms it is not possible to just go knock on people’s doors when you’re free to see if they want to grab boba. I fell into a bit of slump when this realization hit me. I couldn’t just text a friend to come hang out at my apartment until all hours because walking back was not necessarily something people wanted to do at 2am. I wasn’t just running into my friends from freshman year all over the place and deciding to get a quick bite like I used to. Sure, the people I had become super close with I was hanging out with all the time, but it didn’t feel good realizing that there were people from freshman year I might not interact with again because we only interacted when it was convenient proximity-wise. So slowly, I began to start setting up small hangouts with 2 or 3 people at a time with people I hadn’t normally talked to a lot. It was a surprisingly difficult adjustment for me to make, but slowly I got used to the idea of scheduling hangouts weeks in advance.
I began messaging people over facebook to set up times to grab lunch, or get boba, or just to chill. I was surprised by the positive response I got! So many of my fellow second years had been feeling the same way I was, that outside the dorm setting it was so much harder to find time to hang out with the people who weren’t necessarily in their inner circle but still people they liked being around. And I actually started to become closer with those people!
So I guess it really comes down to proactivity. Rather than the baseline Facebook interaction with people you’ve befriended over your months at Cal, it’s good to be insistent on having small hangout and get togethers. And your best tool to make sure everything stays organized will be your calendar app. Since it is not uncommon in college life or in adult life to set up meeting with peers weeks in advance, it is very good to get in the habit of doing so now. So really, in an effort to stay socially active over your college career, you will be building some essential skills for your adult and professional life. So get out there, and invite out that one guy from second semester Chem to boba, or invite that girl from your R5A class to get CREAM with you! You’ll have a great time, strengthen relationships, foster new ones, and build up your socialization ability for the future!