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Palomar students should be more social

Jerry Litthachack and Tomaya Fujisaki enhoy a light moment in Palomar's Student Union on Wednesday, Sept 23, 2015.
Jerry Litthachack and Tomaya Fujisaki enhoy a light moment in Palomar’s Student Union on Wednesday, Sept 23, 2015.

 

Written by Michaela Sanderson/The Telescope

Sometimes when roaming through the Student Union, I can’t help but think to myself how convenient it would be to just have a bunch of tiny one-person tables scattered so that everyone could have their own place to sit and stay in comfortable solitude.

We’d never have to worry about getting into those terrifyingly awkward conversations. Besides, we’re all better off focusing solely on our academics so we can get that degree and go on with our lives.

If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m being sarcastic.

Yes, there’s much more to life than your social status. Yes, you should invest a lot of time and effort into your education. Yes, holding a good and meaningful conversation with someone isn’t easy, but can you honestly imagine yourself looking back at your time in college and wishing you would have met less people?

There seems to be something about Palomar and community colleges in general that brings its own unique challenges to forming a strong community on campus.

 

Sarah Woodard gets help with her Chemistry homework from Keven Smith in Palomar College's Student Union on Wednesday, Sept 23, 2015. Justin Gray/The Telescope
Sarah Woodard gets help with her Chemistry homework from Keven Smith in Palomar College’s Student Union on Wednesday, Sept 23, 2015. Justin Gray/The Telescope

Chandler Prazak, 19, a biblical studies major, said he feels there isn’t a strong sense of community on campus because “so many of the people like myself just get in and get out.”

Regardless of where you come from, it’s pretty clear that we aren’t in high school anymore.

“You don’t really want to make friends at this point. In high school, (popularity) was so important. Now I really care about school so the whole friends thing is definitely on the backburner,” said Stephen Orman, 24, a biochem major said.

What some may not realize is that being socially active can have a significant impact on your academic success. Whether you need someone to study with or someone to motivate you to show up to class, a good friend will be there for support.

Elizabeth Garibay, 19, a sociology major said the best thing to do is “just be friendly and try to get a study buddy in class.”

As reported in the Sept. 14 edition of The Telescope, the Associated Student Government and members of the Office of Student Affairs have met with club leaders to discuss some ways to improve the sense of community on campus.

Jerry Litthachack and Tomaya Fujisaki enhoy a light moment in Palomar's Student Union on Wednesday, Sept 23, 2015. Michaela Sanderson/The Telescope
Jerry Litthachack and Tomaya Fujisaki enhoy a light moment in Palomar’s Student Union on Wednesday, Sept 23, 2015. Michaela Sanderson/The Telescope

 

Here’s what YOU can do:

• Make conversation with someone in class by giving a compliment, asking for help, etc.

• Offer to sit with someone who is alone during lunch. It’s unlikely that they will refuse. If they do, well life goes on.

• If you are lucky enough to already have a solid group of friends, invite someone new and make an effort to make them feel included. Ask questions about the other person and show interest instead of just talking about yourself.

• Plan consistent study sessions with an individual or a group.

• Resist the temptation to bring out your phone.

• JOIN A CLUB! It’s the easiest way to find people with similar interests. (Go to Palomar’s website, search “clubs”, and click “Fall 2015 Palomar College Clubs” to find out more about the 28 clubs offered on campus or how to start a new club.)

• Take advice from the Nike slogan and Shia LaBeouf and just do it!

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