By Sergio A. Lagunas @salagunas
The world today is filled with distractions that set people apart from each other, and that disconnection creates the urge to belong to a group. The human experience was meant to include relationships among people. One example is making new friends in a new environment, such as a new student at a college or university. Being the new transfer, freshman or graduate student in a new physical environment, college campus, can either become a pleasant or uneventful experience depending on the choices one makes in this new society.
I suggest taking action immediately as the new person in this environment. A few items on the agenda can include the opportunity to connect with professionals in your desired career choice, join an organization that promotes your values, build a personal and professional brand, and these few items can help you build strong personal and professional relationships that will benefit your social and emotional health.
Making connections is what higher education is all about. Research is making connections through the scientific method or by evaluating past and current information to claim new knowledge. Consider searching for a professional association that focuses on your career choice to network with prepared and successful individuals. In this professional association, try to find a mentor that may give you access to information and resources that will help cultivate your interest and readiness for the career that you desire most.
One must create these relationships with mentors and perhaps also serve as an advisor to others as a mentor. You must take initiative and create the opportunity for a professional relationship to be built between you and someone who is available and willing to send their wisdom your way.
A perfect way to acclimate to a new environment is to join an organization. This organization may benefit you the most if their membership, purpose and mission statement have similar values to your own personal and professional goals and values.
Look for an organization that will create a home away from home, and this will make the transition easier. This support group can serve you as a group that understands similar struggles that you encounter while transitioning to the new social and cultural environment. Building relationships with people who have similar or familiar beliefs and values can employ a desired level of comfort. However, you must be willing to place yourself in an uncomfortable situation in order to begin to build these everlasting relationships.
Both, life online and off-line require building a track record and a brand of your work and personality. Your personality does not change because that is the way you are. Your socialization and understanding of society may affect behavior when we interact with other people, yet I suggest creating a brand of yourself so that when other people see or think of your name, the first image in their mind should preferably include a professional and friendly portrait.
Your personal brand involves your participation with non-academic and non-work experience. Your professional brand is all about business. Building personal relationships, such as meeting someone who may potentially become your partner in a romantic relationship, is included in the mission to express yourself for a positive and progressive development of your interpersonal communication. Your individual characteristics may be unique and unchanging because people do not really change, but people have the opportunity to become better at what they do. When you build skills and wisdom, you realize that we don’t change, but we add expertise that makes us more skillful when we choose the people to build relationships.