College is such a great opportunity. Not only can you learn new things, but you can work towards building an awesome career. Yes, we know that the college experience isn’t the same as it was several years ago. Goi9ng to school doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily have a job waiting for you after the end of it. Remember when everyone was pressured to go to law school? Well, now there are tons of lawyers, but there aren’t necessarily tons of law jobs for them. Taking on big student loans for a job that may not be there at the end of it is the last thing that you should do.
But what if you want to go to college for the thrill of knowledge? The chance to study something you love around other people that are doing the same thing is great. But you might worry about how your orientation will play a role in college.
We spoke to several gay college students about student life on campus. The good news is that the LGBT issue isn’t really an issue at most schools. Just as we realize that people come from all walks of life, we also realize that there are other orientations at play. There are men who love men, women who love women, people that don’t identify as any particular gender, and everything in between. We believe that the LGBT community should be an open tent for all people, an alternative community that is open and welcome to everyone.
Give yourself a chance to enjoy something great and check out our tips for navigating college after coming out.
1. Be Positive
What type of friend would you like? Chances are good that you want to make friends that are positive, upbeat and open. But if you don’t lean towards thinking about the lighter side of life, you may end up giving yourself a tough time ahead. We know that it’s hard to be happy all of the time, but you do need to take time to appreciate the things you have. We can all think of other people that might not have our circumstances. If you’re struggling with mental health issues, make sure that you get in touch with a professional. We attract people that align with who we are, so if you find that you get a lot of negative people, you’ll need to start adjusting your attitude.
2. Be Active
Sometimes you’ll find people that want to hang out at home, but it’s much easier to get active and stay that way. Not only will you get fresh air and sunshine, you’ll also be able to stay healthier. College is a time where you don’t have your parents telling you how to take care of yourself. this means that you’re going to have to be a lot more responsible than you were previously. The best thing to do would be to check out some sport programs, but if you don’t find anything, that’s perfectly okay. Some colleges even have activity programs directly aimed at LGBT students.
3. Be a Leader
When people know that they can come to you about anything, they’ll be much more likely to refer you to other people. College is a time for making connections that will serve you well in years to come. The truth about leadership is that sometimes you’ll have to stand up for yourself, and that means that not everyone will agree all of the time. However, becoming more diplomatic will make things easier for you over time. Don’t give up if things start out rough. A lot of gay college students have come before you, and they found that college really became a productive experience overall.
Coming out doesn’t mean that you’re any different — it just means that you have communicated your status. If you put things into the right perspective, you’ll be able to manage your expectations. Will you be able to cut off every single person with a negative opinion about the LGBT community? Not a chance. However, the more confidence you build, you’ll realize that bullies don’t matte in the long run. You may even be surprised to find how accepting people are at college. They don’t want to run off great students with bright futures, and most colleges have a formal complaint process if you run into trouble.
The bottom line here is that you need to go out, have a good time, focus on your studies, and try to make a positive impact on the community around you. The spirit of coming out is about being truly authentic, so carry that into other areas of your life. You’ll truly be glad you did.