Life on the other side: Excavating your social life

It”s not easy going out and tearing up the city in search of a social life. You can learn so much in college and yet still be puzzled in the ways of meeting quality people. You may be laughing now, but once you leave the social matrix known as on-campus living you too will see.

Those that have made the transition from on-campus living to the outer world have discovered this truth: your emancipation from residence hall rules comes with a price. It”s not everywhere that you can roll out of bed and be surrounded by hundreds people that share the same goals or at least the desire to avoid living like an ancient Egyptian slave.

As you may be finding out, some hallmates you love and others you wish you could trade on NASDAQ for free. Despite your ups, downs and in-betweens, once you make that quest to the land of rental life, things begin to change. It”s one thing to land a decent job or even a place of your own but creating a community of cool people is another.

In residence halls, you are surrounded by eccentric, energetic and even educated peers. In apartment halls, your neighbors include a roommate that smokes more salmon than the Alaskan Sausage Company, a dog that thinks you”re Satan and of course the King of Bass that drives by your window every six minutes. Instead of having all your homies down the hall, you may find yourself having to book an appointment with them for an annual check-up. You may become so far off the social radar that your friends have a global positioning satellite looking for you.

Then again, a little challenge is always good for the social soul. Living off campus means you actually have to put yourself in social situations to meet the kind of people that compliment your style. That may mean the local bar scene that is stocked full with that spicy mixture of sweat, music and intoxicated youth. Or for those of you who prefer the mellow side of society, there are always the three Cs of connection building: coffee shops, churches and community bookstores.

Once you”ve wandered through all your social options, you may find yourself in an unlikely place – back on campus. Not back in the dorms mind you, but back in the place where wandering aimlessly is a normal activity and being a part of the social conduit is as easy as standing in line. And don”t worry, you”ll get your chance to stand in plenty of those.

Your friendly neighborhood campus newspaper is always looking for more fresh perspectives. If you are a graduate student with something to say, contact the Northern Light at [email protected] or stop Ainslie Kopperud in line for more information.