Starting college can be scary; you’re in a new place, living on your own, and trying desperately to retain all those new names and faces. But remember: You’ve got this!

When you choose a college, you’re also choosing a community. Friends and support come with the territory at Champlain College; just ask alumni like Julia Leonard ’20. Watch the video below for some of her best recommendations for building connections and discovering yourself at Champlain College.

Prep: Visit Us at Admitted Students Day

Champlain’s Admitted Student Days take place twice in the spring. On these days, you can interact with potential classmates, meet your future professors, and find your way around campus.

Bonus: Can’t make it to an Admitted Students Day or just can’t get enough of campus after you’ve connected with it IRL? Follow Champlain on Instagram (@champlainedu) for regular updates about what current students are doing all over campus and engage with your classmates on Discord. It’s a great place to chat with fellow first-years and learn more about Champlain.

Join Clubs and Student Orgs

Students attend the annual Fall Activities Fair in 2021, where new and returning students can get the inside scoop on more than 60 student clubs and organizations on campus. Photo by Emma Seidenberg ’22.

Champlain has a wide array of clubs, ranging from the Stiller Women in Business club (SWIB) to open mic coffee hours. We have major-specific and academic clubs, organizations to bring out your adventurous, creative side, and more. There’s no commitment tied to attending a club meeting, so if you decide it’s not right for you, that’s okay! The best thing to do is try.

Connect with People in Your Residence Hall

A colorful, cozy double in Juniper Hall. Photo by Ryan Bent ’08 // Ryan Bent Photography

Even a simple smile or “hello” can go a long way; remember, the people in your res hall are probably just as nervous as you are. You will be sharing a living space with them for the remainder of the school year, so it’s important to find a few people to connect with. Resident Advisors host events for students in their halls once a month (and sometimes even more), which is a great way to get to know your neighbors.

Prioritize Your Well-being

From day one to graduation and beyond, student support offices, such as the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, work to create a safe, equitable, supportive, and empowering campus community.

Attending college is a big change, so it’s important to prioritize yourself and your mental health. Luckily, Champlain has many ways to help you—and your classmates—do just that. Remember: You’re not alone on this new, wild ride. Defense Against the Dark Arts is a weekly meet-up held to discuss reducing anxiety, positive mental health, and the effects of social media. We also have several offices and centers, such as the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the Women’s and Gender Center for you to go when you want to connect with people in a welcoming environment.

The Student Health & Wellness Center provides health care through preventative, diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative services. We also have a Counseling Center for individual and group counseling, psychiatric medication management and referrals, alcohol and drug education programs, case management, crisis services, and wellness programming.

Want more?

Check out upcoming events on campus. The View updates its calendar regularly with events across the college where you are sure to find your people and your passion.

Haley Seymour
Class of 2023
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