5 Tips to Making Real College Connections

In my final year at DePaul I’ve often been asked what kind of connections I’ve made. That’s a hard question to answer. You’ve had countless interactions with other students, professors, and faculty in different departments. But who really knows you? Who could you ask to write a letter of recommendation or talk to about career advice?

Here are 5 tips to making the best connections in college, before it’s too late.

  1. Talk to Your Professors – I know, it seems a little weird. I was thrown off at first. We were separate people. Their job was to come in and teach me and I was supposed to do what they said and learn. But really, they’re people too. In fact, a lot of professors enjoy talking to students about the subjects they teach and helping out – it’s why they teach. So even if you aren’t having problems with a class set up a meeting to discuss a paper or discuss the subject with your professors. In the end it will help more when you need other advice down the line.
  2. Use Your Advisors – I don’t know why more college students don’t. Their job is to help you through the mess that is college and then onto real life. I met with my faculty advisor each time I was picking classes to see what he thought about my choices. I didn’t come to him empty handed though, that would be a waste of their time. Come in with something to talk about – whether it’s scholarships, classes, choices, or career paths. These people you can keep going back to and they’ll get to know you, which is important.
  3. Get Involved – You’ll hear this everywhere, but really if you do things that you love you’ll meet people with similar interests. Even if it’s a hobby you might find a professor, student, or staff member with similar backgrounds, interests, or career path. Or, what might even be better, you’ll meet people completely different and get a new perspective. Keep up with it and keep in touch with them outside of whatever activity it is. They could really help you through those tough college choices.
  4. Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up – This is important in class. I know a lot of people this is easy, but for me it was a little nerve wracking. I do not want to be that kid that talks too much and gets us off topic or doesn’t know what they’re talking about. But we all remember that kid. The professors enjoy conversation and questions to keep the class involved, so they’ll appreciate it. Then you can also start up conversation with your classmates more, forming bonds in class and possible friendships.
  5. Go to Networking Events – This doesn’t have to be career fairs, especially when you start out, but you need to get out there. DePaul often has inspiring lectures where you can meet people in certain careers or alumni events where you can talk to people about their path after college. These will be helpful immediately and you can get contact information of people to speak to when you need a little extra advice or connections.

These connections you make in college might not last forever, same as friendships, but they can help you break into the real world in one smooth motion.

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Mollie Diedrich

Mollie Diedrich

Mollie Diedrich is a senior creative writing major at DePaul University. She is minoring in journalism and aspires to be the next big food writer. Her love of writing propels all she does from her food blog to online magazine articles. When she isn’t writing, she’s probably baking. She has a ferocious sweet tooth and adores cupcakes of all shapes and sizes.