By Valeria Tirado
I don’t know about you, but I would love to be part of Taylor Swift’s fabulous, and seemingly ever growing, squad. While the chances of that are slim, forming your own squad can actually be as easy as Taylor makes it look.
Even in college? Yes, even in college! Being in the right place at the right time makes a difference, so I’m going to tell you where I think are the best places to find gal pals and network in college.
The first place should be obvious: your classroom. Most of the classes you’re taking in community college are probably your basic courses (that was smart of you) so your classes will be diverse when it comes to majors. But that’s not a bad thing. While your long-term career goals may be different, your short-term goals are similar, which is to graduate community college and then transfer to a 4-year school that will lead you into a successful career.
Having friends to support you, as you support them, throughout your journey will be a great asset to you. What better place to start than right in your classroom where you’ll already be surrounded by many ambitious women just like yourself? Studying together, trading notes, and swapping advice are just a few of the ways you can begin these long-lasting friendships.
The next place (or should I say places?) I would go to find new additions to my squad are the school’s common rooms, such as the library, cafeteria, gym, etc. At the library, you’re always going to find studious people so you can’t go wrong there. Ask a girl, or a group of girls, if you can study with them. Most shouldn’t mind but I guess if you need an excuse, a few good ones are, “I need some help with this…” or “I’m new here…” I guarantee it’s not as hard as it sounds.
In any other common rooms, the deal is the same. Use the machine next to someone at the gym and strike up a conversation, or sit with someone new for lunch. Not all of these interactions may turn into budding friendships, but you never know who you’re going to hit it off with.
The last place that I advise you to look for new girl friends are at club meetings. Find a club that piques your interest and when you go to the meetings, you’ll be in the same room as a bunch of other ladies who are just as interested in it as you. Pretty cool, right? Even if you end up quitting the club, that doesn’t mean you have to leave the awesome ladies you met behind.
Club meetings are where I’ve met most of my girl friends and we have supported each other through so much. They are definitely a place you do not want to miss out on.
With the exception of some common rooms, networking with professionals and faculty can begin at these same places too. If you take a class with an inspiring professor or meet a club member who you really admire, be sure to let them know that and get their contact info to keep in touch. You never know how they may be able to help you in the future.
Building a strong network of women early on, especially in college, will give you an edge later on so please take advantage while you can. I hope this guide has helped you, and good luck building your ultimate squad!
Valeria Tirado is a senior at Rutgers University – New Brunswick with a major in Environmental and Business Economics. After graduation, she is interested in working with a non-profit organization like the World Wildlife Fund and eventually wants to go to grad school for Economics. Among the schools she is considering are NYU and Vanderbilt. Valeria can be found on Twitter at @valeriat94.