Does it pay to socialize with new people at college?

Cortland Klinefelter, IV leader Columnist

As we reach this higher level of learning known as college, we now have the opportunity to make more choices with more freedom. Don’t like a class you can choose not to take it; don’t agree with a teacher’s method you can change classes. We have the opportunity to hang out with a wider range of people who may or may not have similar views and interests as us. Also we still have a sense of familiarity with the access to friends we grew up with.
However, with a bigger environment and a practically clean slate when we step in the door, does it pay to socialize? Most of us know that one person who’s a social butterfly, capable of rattling off conversations with anyone without any prior knowledge about them, and if you’re one of those people you know the benefits of socializing.
Then there are people who prefer to be quiet and survey their surroundings. I’m not going to lie: I’m exactly like that. I dread talking to new people; it’s a curse, I admit. I do understand, though, that socializing is a very important part of college and that it helps to improve the passage through college.
Now I know there are students who prefer to keep to themselves, and there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes it’s best to do what’s comfortable for you, but I encourage you to make an attempt at conversation with someone you have never talked to. With how the world works today, the ability to hold a conversation is very important. It may feel like a big step, but sometimes it can pay off.
There are definitely advantages when socializing with new people. When you hang out with the same people you grew up with, you may become accustomed to the same views as each other. When you talk to new people, not only do you get a chance to trade information, but you may come away with new ways to look at things. Also socializing can help you find new friends or even people who can direct you to clubs that you may be interested in. If you are having trouble with class work, you can socialize with your fellow classmates to help you understand it better.
Personally, I look at it like this: we may not all be socially adept or blessed with the gift of gab, but we all have the opportunity to socialize at our own pace and it can help you find new friends or interests. Also, when we take the time to talk to others we may be helping them to break out of their shell as well which is definitely worth it. It can also benefit you greatly as you learn more ideas and understand more diverse people.
So get out there and socialize.