If you’re not naturally a social butterfly, you may be worrying about how to make a great first impression when you start college. This is definitely a skill that’s worth learning, as you’ll find it easier to make friends, have better relationships with your roommates, and increase your chances to participate in exciting opportunities. To ensure you make a great first impression on everyone you meet, there are a few things you need to do.
1. Pay Attention to Your Appearance
Before meeting people (such as during social events on campus), make sure you’re presentable. There’s no need to wear smart clothes, as most college students wear T-shirts, hoodies, and sweatpants, but your clothing should be free from holes and tears. When you meet someone, be sure to smile and maintain eye contact.
2. Work on Your Handshake
A limp handshake feels like you’re putting in no effort. Plus, it won’t help your professional image. Practise a firm handshake by consciously thinking about what you’re doing when you shake the hands of people you meet.
3. Remember People’s Names
People will appreciate it if you remember their names. Make sure you ask everyone you meet and then repeat back their names to both help store the information in your memory and ensure you’re pronouncing the name correctly. Show people that you do remember by using their names during conversations and introducing them to other people you know.
4. Listen During Conversations
Some people try too hard to make a good impression and end up dominating conversations, spending the whole time talking about themselves. This doesn’t impress anyone. What will impress people is if you listen and show interest, such as by asking questions. Other students are more likely to seek you out later if you’ve demonstrated that you’re a good conversationalist.
5. Become Active on Campus
Present yourself as someone who is actively involved in student life by attending events on campus. To go a step further, you could learn more about clubs, organizations, and resources to become a source of information for students or you could volunteer in booths, campaigns, and other activities.
6. Be Open-Minded
When you meet someone new, keep the interaction positive. Controversial topics may come up, especially if students are representing clubs or social campaigns. Instead of disagreeing and immediately engaging in an argument, listen to what others have to say. You’ll be exposed to a variety of viewpoints and meet students from diverse backgrounds at college — you may even end up changing some of your world views. Besides, you’ll gain more respect and will be more likely to sway the opinions of others if you have calm, open discussions.
Making a great first impression is just one challenge to overcome at college: you’ll also need to figure out how to find off-campus housing. For students at Fanshawe College, this is easy — you can live at Foundry First. In addition to a furnished suite with WiFi access, you’ll be able to use our onsite amenities, including laundry facilities, parking, and a commercially-equipped gym. Apply now while limited spots are still available.