Events and networking events are hard to go to. Not all of us are extroverted and feel comfortable with striking up a conversation with a total stranger. It’s just not us.
However, there are many ways and reasons to go to events.
The first reason,
1) Human beings were made to socialize
Socializing makes us happy. That’s why customer service is such a highly valued part of retail. Happy employees, happy customers. Next time you get your groceries checked out, smile and ask the cashier how they are doing. This is a nice gesture for the employee but also for yourself.
The second reason is more lucrative,
2) You can’t network without meeting new people
Especially for us college students, networking is a fundamental part of getting that dream job (or that entry level job that will get us to our dream job). So practice practice practice. Go to some events that are made up of your existing social group. Or create your own get-together for just your group!
3) Learn something new
Many people go to events (chess club, martial art practice, or MAGIC) to learn something new. Life-long learning is a valuable skill to achieve life-long happiness. Make a bucket list of all the things you wish you knew how to do. Then find other people or groups who do those things. Approach them as a beginner and they will show you the ropes. Who knows, you may find your next best friend.
4) Be able to answer the question, “How was your weekend?” with pride
Some of us love to spend our day offs alone at home. However, why not divide up your weekend in half and do something on Friday/Saturday and then have a lazy afternoon? Being away for a part of the weekend makes the lazy Sunday that much sweeter. Being able to tell your colleagues a little bit about yourself outside of work/school also strengthens your relationship with them. It makes your time with them go by faster because you have something to talk about.
Now for the real reason why we all go to events…
5) Free food!
College events have been increasingly providing food for attendees because that’s what attracts us. Food in the dorms is so expensive and the grocery store is just too far away. Cooking is also a hassle in your small apartment/dorm. Or you may just not have time for it.
For all you college students out there, it’s the middle of Winter Quarter. We just got over the holiday blues, but there is so much more things to deal with. You have to deal with the hardest part of your classes, meeting with professors (so that they can write you a great future recommendation, and worst of all: your group members. It’s bad enough that you had to make new friends with the person sitting next to you the first day (how else would you get notes when you are sick or slept in through 5 alarm clocks?)
Have you ever had that “Huh” moment? Not the one where you don’t understand something, but the one where you are contemplating if something is legit or completely looney toons. You squeeze your eyebrows together, squint your eyes a little, and perk your lips to one side. Try it, it really makes you look like a thinker.
We’ve all been there before: your fiery Aunt Janice has friended a neighbor who violently opposes all of her opinions. And whenever you like her statuses, your inbox is flooded with a hundred little notifications, all alerting you to angry comments from – you guessed it — Neighbor Who Disagrees.