Getting Acquainted – How to Connect with the Rollins Community Before Even Going to Rollins

By: Trevor Pugh – Health Policy and Management

There is a common saying that I am sure most of us have heard at some point in our lives. I remember former professors, bosses, and even my parents utter the phrase “It is not about what you know, but who you know.” As much as it is overused, it has merit to it; however, I want to take it one step further by saying that “beyond who you know, it is about how you know them.” This post is going to talk about how you can connect with the Rollins community before even stepping foot on campus. By connecting early, you’ll already feel at home on the first day of class. Let’s break it down.

Graduate school is a whole different ball game. Gone are the days of freshman year in undergrad where nearly everyone gets on campus coming from high school. Undergrad is the time where individuals experience new things, begin establishing independence, and foster new relationships. Graduate school is slightly different due to the wide range of backgrounds among your peers. You have some coming right from undergrad with no work experience ranging all the way to classmates already having their medical degrees. The age range is large. The background range is even larger. As someone who graduated a year early from undergrad and came directly to Rollins, it was very clear this environment would be different. Though different, I find it to be better and more beneficial actually. I have become friends with people from all over the world, at various stages of their lives, and with incredibly impressive work backgrounds. It has pushed me to become a better person as I continue to embrace the diversity that is Rollins.

Given this wide variety of backgrounds and experience, connecting with the community before you even arrive can manifest through numerous methods. Rollins is still a big Facebook user. Admissions and student organizations rely on Facebook groups for many announcements and interactions. If you haven’t already, be sure to join the Facebook group that corresponds to your graduating class year! This is a great first place to introduce yourself and interact with other classmates and older students already at Rollins. By putting yourself out there, you open a channel of communication to meet other students that share similar interests as you. From there, do not hesitate to strike up conversation with current students and staff in the group. The Rollins community is super friendly and we love to chat with anyone interested in getting to know us.

Not a big Facebook person? Find the Rollins community on Instagram and LinkedIn! Instagram is obviously the more casual of the three, but LinkedIn is a great place to start expanding your network! Do not be afraid to send a quick introduction message to new connections telling them who you are and what you are doing. Much like Facebook, I have yet to come across anyone who is not willing to connect with our Rollins family and share their experiences. Similarly, use the “followers” feature on Instagram to find current Rollins students and connect with them there! The Rollins-sanctioned accounts are a great glimpse into student life here! It is also a great way to interact with the student organizations here as they are always excited to talk to new students.

Finally, still looking for other ways to connect with the Rollins community before classes start in August? Use your summer to do some meet-ups and bonding activities! Most students move to Atlanta by the start of August as that is when most leases begin. Using those first few weeks to have meet ups with your cohort or other student groups is a great way to assimilate early. As an incoming first-year, my HPM cohort planned a few meet ups before orientation week at Punch Bowl Social to get to know one another and just casually hang out. By doing this, I was able to start making friends and have familiar faces to recognize in my classes. They are still my friends to this date. I highly recommend you do the same thing with your cohort or anyone hosting get togethers. Atlanta has a great night life and fantastic summer activities to engage in before the fall hits. Take advantage of that as soon as possible! You will not regret it.

Looking for your first Rollins friend? You’ll have one in me! Feel free to reach out and connect with me. I love making new friends and going out to socialize (when there isn’t a pandemic lol).

Have a great summer, and I look forward to seeing you this fall!