Finding Your Best Friends at CU
By: Eryca Henry
“Cumberland University is a small school… so doesn’t that mean you’re like best friends with everyone you go to school with?” If you come to CU, you will hear this a lot. My answer is not really. I heard this question be answered once like this from a fellow PA when a parent asked. “Cumberland is a size where you know almost everyone, but you have the opportunity to get to know new people every day”. And honestly, that is so true.
So here are a few tips along with a bit of my experience on how I met my best friends at CU, and hopefully, you can meet yours here too! Whether you are a commuter or resident, make sure to remember these tips because I promise you, they will help!
Don’t be afraid to talk to upperclassmen/President’s Ambassadors on registration day (or any other day).
Take this advice and use it! If we are there on registration day, we are there to help YOU and make sure you are ready to take on your first semester of college however we can. In fact, this is how I met one of my best friends. She was a PA and greeted my mom and me on registration day and from then on, we were so close. Here I am now, following in her footsteps as a PA (I was even in her wedding last year)! So, no matter where we are: orientation, walking from classes, anywhere; if you see someone, especially a PA, don’t be afraid to ask them! This group of students is some of the first people you will connect with on-campus and it is our job to be there for you and we love it!
Try to connect with some people before you start classes!
Now that we have the Cumberland app, it’s so easy to do this! When I first started here, our incoming class had a GroupMe and a few girls went from that and made a group message. This is how I first met one of my other best friends. This helps whether you are a commuter, resident, international student – any freshman. We now have the app where you can connect even easier! Take the time to introduce yourself to people whenever you get the chance; you never know where it may lead you.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your classmates!
That same best friend from above is one of my classmates and now, she is my roommate. We honestly got close just over this past year because we were both trying to make it through our hard, upper-level business and accounting classes, and we figured, “Why not do it together?” Along with two of our other friends, we have almost made it to the finish line!
Another idea: If you understand something in class and someone doesn’t and they ask for help, I suggest trying to help them! That’s how I met my best guy friend.
Try to remember who your tour guide is!
One of the most helpful things for me was knowing my tour guides when I came! These are once again, PAs and as I said before, we love it when you remember us! I love it when students remember that I gave them a tour and I hope that they feel that they have me in their corner. This is a way to give you a for sure friend when you start school!
Get to know your teammates!
If you are on a sports team here at Cumberland, you hopefully have a bunch of new friends, hopefully, one or more who can become a best friend. My best friend who was a PA was also my teammate, so I literally had her around all the time. Your teammates can be some of your quickest and closest best friends! They get what it is like and they practice the same as you do, so they will understand what you are going through.
Get to know other athletes!
Get to know other people on other sports teams and support them at their games too! I know how much it means to people when you go out there to support them because I remember how much it meant to me! Even if you don’t know much about the sport, it still shows effort if you go! That’s one of the beautiful things about a small school is that you can get to know other athletes and as I said, hopefully, you have time to support others!
Join clubs and student organizations!
Go to the organization fair during welcome week and try to get plugged in with groups that seem interesting to you! Some of my closest friends have been in the same clubs as me during my time here! Greek life is a great way to get involved and make friends too!
Get to know the people in your dorm!
If you are a resident, some of the first people you get to know are the people in your dorm room! Try to meet the people on your hall. You can also befriend your RA as well; that’s what they are there for. Some of my closest friends and eventual roommates sophomore year were the girls who lived next to me freshman year!
Get to know other commuters!
Maybe you’re studying in the library, in the Learning Commons, in the quad, or even sitting in Labry. Get to know the other people sitting around there; they may be looking for a friend just like you are.
Go to Welcome Week events!
Cumberland hosts these events because we want to help you get involved with other students and make friends just like we did. Go to the carnival, sit with people you’ve never met, etc. These events are the perfect opportunity for you to really make those first friendships!
My final tip: BE YOURSELF!
Don’t be afraid to let people see who you are. If I wouldn’t have had an Atlanta Braves baseball game on my computer while studying, I’m not sure my best guy friend and I would even be friends!
I am thankful that my friends have accepted the baseball-loving, homebody, dancing, crazy person I am, and I wouldn’t change my college experience or the friendships I have made for the world. I hope everyone has an experience like I have in finding your people during this new and sometimes scary time of your life.
I hope you find your people along the way at CU, and remember, one of our main priorities as PA’s is to be there for you. Don’t be afraid to stop by to say hi, and like I’ve said, just be real and be you!
PA Talk is a blog created by Cumberland University’s Presidential Ambassadors covering topics and giving advice that is relevant to the CU student experience. For topic suggestions, email Mattie Jennings at firstname.lastname@example.org.