Finding your place at ASU

students on campus wearing face masks

This semester at ASU, we’re focusing more than ever on the well-being of the community, which has led to changes in where students are located, how learning will take place, and what the student experience looks like. Despite the changes, there are still a ton of ways to get involved and connect to the Sun Devil experience. We spoke to the president of the Programming and Activities Board for the Tempe campus, Quinlyn Ashlock, a junior majoring in elementary education, about how she recommends building connections and finding your place at ASU in our new normal. 

Trying new things can be scary.

Some parts of being a new student at ASU haven’t changed, like the nerves you might feel when you join a new group or try something new. Despite joining the PAB in her first week at ASU, Quinlyn says she was terrified as a first-year student. It’s scary to put yourself out there, no matter who you are, and she found comfort knowing that the other first-year students in her class were going through the same thing. 

Even in this new normal, other students are likely going through similar experiences to what you are dealing with. You’re all managing the changes to the expectations you held for your first or second year on campus, and everyone is managing the changes happening in our country and the world. This could be a connection point between you and your classmates, and may help decrease any apprehension you might have about reaching out to other students to make connections. 

How to put yourself out there in 2020.

She noted that this year more than ever, students have to put themselves out there. Not only does she recommend that you try new things, like joining student groups and meeting new people, but she also encourages students to try new ways of making connections like meeting people via Zoom, reaching out to a classmate through the ASU Mobile app, or making a connection in a physically distanced classroom. 

Quinlyn pointed out that she’s already seen students making the leap at the Welcome Week PAB activities she’s hosted. She shared how many of the activities have changed this semester, including separating students into small socially distanced groups for activities. In both the in-person and Zoom groups, she noticed that students were chatting and talking more than they might in a large group. Knowing that the other students in the groups were looking to make connections helped ease nerves and opened chats up to include opportunities to connect again. 

Advice from a student who’s been there.

Quinlyn’s advice on making connections as a new student is relevant even in our new normal. She wants to remind students that finding your place in college can take time. She remembers thinking she'd be completely adjusted with a great group of college friends in the first week, and being disappointed when it didn’t happen. 

She encourages new students to have patience and trust in the process that they’re going through. She added that if students aren’t happy with how things are going, they should stay dedicated to trying new things and meeting people — especially past the first few weeks. It takes time, but if you keep trying and putting yourself out there, you’ll find or build a community that works for you. 

For more information about the PAB and other student groups you can join, check out the Getting Involved fall series and explore student groups based on interest areas. Then check out our list of seven more ways you can get involved on campus, and send us a message if you have any questions. 

Adulting 101

Sun Devils turn to ASU Adulting 101 to learn (some of) the things not taught in class. Not sure about how to do something? Need to connect with an expert? We got you.


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