Settling into student life is an easy thing for some; they come in on their first day with the sunny disposition and outgoing nature that will take them far in this industry. They act as ambassadors for the others that may not yet feel comfortable enough to relax into such a new environment. Working in admissions, I have the unique ability to get to know all the students individually before a class starts. The first day of class is exciting for me because, unlike at orientation, this is the day everyone realizes they’re truly on their way. They begin to form bonds and new friendships that will carry them through their time at school. Anxieties begin to vanish after those first few days as everyone comes to discover that they’re not alone.
It is social anxiety that I see most in my office. Nearly every student inquires about the others in their class, asking questions such as “how old is everyone?” or “are there a lot of people signed up?”. I know that everyone will find a friend; it’s inevitable. Here are some things to think about to put your mind at ease:
1.) All the students already have something in common; cosmetology. I think there is a great fear that beginning school will be like going back to high school and, for some, those years were not a pleasant experience. It is human nature to create a social hierarchy and it will exist in every environment as small as the sandbox when one is a child to cosmetology school when you are an adult. The difference now is that everyone is working toward a common goal. I can say with certainty that each student I meet will find at least one person with whom they can make friends. So relax and play in the sand; you’re going to be just fine.
2.) Really, it isn’t like high school. These aren’t the same people whom you’ve been with since pre-school that witnessed every awkward moment of your formative and teenage years. You have the beautiful opportunity to start fresh! You can reinvent yourself and become the person you want the world to know. You will be a walking billboard for yourself as a cosmetologist when you graduate so take some time and figure out what your style is. You’re writing a new chapter of your life here, remember that you are your own author!
3.) Everyone is as nervous as you are even if they’re perceived as social butterflies. Everyone is afraid they won’t make a friend or have someone to talk to; it’s just that social butterflies understand something you may not: Making friends starts with you. It’s amazing the kind of response you can get simply by being the one to say hello first. So, give it a try!
Always remember, coming to cosmetology school is a choice. After years of education where someone else told you that you had to take science and math and history, now it’s YOUR decision and we’re so happy to have you. While you’re with us, hold on to the excitement you first felt when you decided to join Empire and create a new path for yourself. That positive anticipation will make your time here fly by as well as having the wonderful side affect that others love being around positive people. So, start fresh, write your story and try waving to someone you’ve never met before on your first day. Good things are about to happen.