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How to survive college social life

by Cristopher Rubio

Last week I presented some tips for surviving college…or, to be more correct, guidelines for doing well academically. But as most college folk can probably tell you, some of the most important things you learn during your four plus years in college occur outside the classroom. There is a reason it’s called the college experience after all.

And no, I’m no expert, but I thought I’d share some of my ‘Guidelines for Maximizing the College Experience.’ Enjoy:

School first. Without school, there is no college. So handle your business in the classroom above all else.

Relationships. I’m not saying relationships in college are a bad thing, just don’t let a relationship keep you from networking and meeting others. I’ve seen way to many college kids devote all their time to their relationship and end up regretting it.

Get involved. This sounds like one of those super cliché things, but finding a student organization that you can relate to opens the doors to an excellent social life. I probably made about 95 percent of my friends in college through the various student organizations I was involved in during my undergrad days. I was also able to foster valuable leadership skills that made me more attractive to employers. And look into joining the Latina/o student organizations on your campus as well. It’s a great way to meet people like you, learn more about yourself (and your culture), and give back to your community.

Don’t limit yourself. Get to know people from different backgrounds. College gives you the opportunity to interact and learn about cultures other than your own. But you have to be proactive and step out of your comfort zone.

Greek Life. For starters, fraternities and sororities are not all the same, and they’re often not much like what you see in the movies. There are Greeks that focus on specific communities like the African-American community, the Latino community, or the LGBT community, for example. I joined a Latino Greek Letter Organization (LGLO) because I felt like it best identified with my identity. It’s a decision that I am extremely glad that I made (I’m a Lambda if you’re wondering). So as far as this is concerned, I’ll leave you with this: you can have plenty of fun in college without joining a Greek org. (it’s not for everyone, and that’s OK), and if you want to join a Greek org., don’t do it during your first year (you should be focused on yourself that first year).

Roadtrips! Chances are you probably have some friends at schools in other parts of the state/country. So gather up some peeps, and troop it out to visit your friends on other campuses. It’s a great way to network, and roadtrips to places like Cornell for Slope Day, University of Wisconsin during Halloween weekend, or the University of Texas for 6th Street make for some great college memories.

I probably forgot a million things, so like last time, use the ‘Comments’ section to leave your own guidelines!

To learn more about Cris, visit El Kamino Real.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of
the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


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About Cristopher Rubio

Cris was born in McAllen, Texas to a Mexican mother and Salvadoran father. A well-rounded student and basketball player in high school, Cris attended the University of Texas at Austin. As an undergrad, Cris was highly involved with various student organizations in the Latino community, including Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. He credits many of the people he met during this time with helping him realize his passion for equality and social justice.

After graduating with a B. A. in Mathematics, Cris was selected as a 2007 Teach for America Corps member in Atlanta, Georgia. He taught high school mathematics for three years in southwest Atlanta. In 2010, he enrolled at the University of Georgia to pursue a Master’s Degree in Educational administration and Policy. Although he has a passion for education, he’s just as passionate about writing, especially when it involves his community. He wishes he could spend less time watching basketball, fútbol, football, boxing and rooting for his beloved Arsenal, but some things can’t be helped.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. Great post! Got to stress to students that the first year should be dedicated to getting acclimated to the new learning styles, testing styles and establishing themselves academically. A lot of times high schools don’t quite prepare us for the rigours of university expectations academically.

  2. Don’t forget talking and getting to know professionals, like professors, employers, club sponsors, etc. The best pieces of advice I received while in college (aside from my parents) were the people that were so passionate about what they were already doing. They offered information and tips that helped me make some great decisions, have unforgettable experiences and get me to where I am today :)

  3. Great article Chris, although I must semi-challenge your “don’t join a GLO as a first-year” opinion. I personally joined my sorority, Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc., the second semester of my first year and I would not change that ever. It isn’t for everyone, but sometimes you just know when the time is right when you decide to go Greek. As a matter of fact, I feel like my early entrance into Greek life prepared me to become a professional sooner and acquire the skills necessary to have the all important internship/ real-world experience sooner, which is extremely valuable to potential employers.

    None the less, great job and I commend you for giving these tips to future college-attending Latinos. :-)

  4. Keep In Touch. if you get involved and don’t limit yourself, you’ll have the chance to meet tons of people during different stages of your college career. The person you spent over half the day with your freshman year may not be the same person your senior year, but it doesn’t mean you should lose contact. Great friends need to be cherished so it’s a good idea to keep in touch without throughout your college career even if you involvement and priorities change.

  5. Nancy Sepulveda says:

    Nice post! BTW, Jeannette, I’m a Lambda Lady too — LTA all the way, baby! :)

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