12 Ways to Feel Connected at Drexel
October 21, 2019
Whether it’s your first quarter at Drexel or your last, there are myriad opportunities to connect to Drexel’s many communities, students, clubs and social scenes. Check out these 12 tips for finding your home at Drexel (and Philly), courtesy of the College’s Student Advisory Board.
1. Try something new.
There’s no better time to explore your interests or try something unexpected than your college years.
“It can be easy to find a comfortable routine and to stick with it. But at this point in your life, the potential rewards of discovering a whole new passion far outweigh the risks,” says math major Jasper MacNaughton ’20. “College is the time to fully get in tune with yourself. So, go to that funky club meeting, or that talk that seems interesting.”
2. Go out and volunteer.
“There are countless places in Philly that could use your help, some of them right next to Drexel’s campus,” says communication major Hana Graybill ’21. “Lend a hand and learn from the people you’re working with. It will help you to better understand our neighborhood and city.”
Visit the Lindy Center to learn about current volunteer opportunities, or sign up for a Community-Based Learning course to integrate civic engagement into your curriculum.
3. Explore the city and its surrounding neighborhoods.
Steeped in history, with an ever-expanding foodie and arts scene, Philadelphia is an educational experience in its own right.
“I love being on an urban campus,” says sociology major Madeline DelVescovo ’20. “Philadelphia is so rich in culture, there are never‐ending opportunities to try new things and meet new people.”
Drexel is a quick walk or train ride away from many dynamic neighborhoods, so don’t wait to get out and explore. Check out our recommendations for outdoor activities in Philadelphia, or try one of our eight day-trip ideas!
4. Feed your soul (and appetite).
Speaking of trying new things, check out one of Philadelphia’s mouthwatering restaurants!
“My favorite place to eat in Philly is Dalessandro’s,” says criminology and justice studies major Sean McClellan ’21. “They easily have the best cheesesteak in the city.” (Don’t tell the Pat’s and Geno’s enthusiasts!)
“Mission Taqueria is my favorite restaurant in Philadelphia,” says psychology major Maya Showell ’21. “The environment is retro and unique in that it always feels laid back, whether it is busy or calm, and the food never lets me down.”
Looking to dine closer to campus? Browse our list of comfort foods near Drexel, or try a Student-Advisory-Board food truck fave like Happy Sunshine (recommended by physics major Nick Giardetti ’21), or Los Compadres (recommended by global studies major Tais Idi-Infante ’20).
5. Get to know your professors.
They’re here to help and they care about your success! Nick Giardetti recommends attending office hours, when you’ll benefit from “one-on-one, face-to-face exposure with your professors. Office hours are often underutilized across many departments.”
The benefits — from gaining a deeper understanding of course material to research opportunities and mentorship — are numerous. Plus, you’ll form a stronger connection with the unique community in your department.
6. Learn about Drexel resources.
Drexel University is home to dozens of offices, faculty and staff members who are here to help students succeed. Check out all five centers in the Drexel Writing and Tutoring Centers, schedule a meeting with your academic adviser, and take advantage of many other Drexel resources!
Prefer to connect with your peers? Contact one of our members on the CoAS Student Advisory Board!
7. Put yourself out there!
“Smile at people on the street, say hi to people you pass every day, or sit next to someone new in class,” says Hana Graybill. “You might make a connection that changes your life, personally or professionally.”
History major Nicole Clifford ’23 adds, “Take some time to get to know the people on your dorm room floor, especially people from outside of your major. It's a great way to be introduced to activities and clubs that you might never have thought of trying.”
8. Make time for clubs and extracurriculars.
“There are so many different clubs revolving around sports, academia, music — whatever interests you have, there’s most likely a club for it!” says Maya Showell. “Extracurricular activities allow you to expand on your interests while meeting new people.”
Whether you’re drawn to professionally focused groups like Drexel’s Mock Trial Association, academic interest groups like Drexel’s German Club, or just looking for a way to let loose and have fun, there’s a club for everyone on DragonLink, Drexel’s student organization portal.
Philosophy and political science major Niayla-dia Murray ’20 says, “If none of the clubs appeal to your interests, then feel free to start one! The process is easy.”
9. Ask questions!
“If there is anything that you are wondering if you can do, be it researching with a professor, taking a class, or creating a club; if there is anything you are thinking of but are unsure, ask someone,” says geoscience major Emily Carey ’20. “There are so many opportunities here at Drexel, but you'll never know if you don't ask.”
English major Samantha Johnson ’21 says, “If you see an org you’re interested in, ask to learn more about it. If you notice that an interest you’re pursuing isn’t represented, ask how you can bring it to campus. Even though Drexel can be overwhelming, you’ll always be able to discover what’s right for you when you take the first step and ask what’s out there!”
10. Gain experiences outside of your discipline.
Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences is incredibly diverse — home to 17 unique undergraduate programs like criminology and justice studies, 41 minors and 21 graduate programs. Take advantage of this rich intellectual community by taking a course or attending a talk in another discipline. The perspective you’ll gain is invaluable.
Political science major Uswa Mutaal ’23 says, “You wouldn't believe how refreshing and rewarding it can be to meet people outside of your discipline. Interdisciplinary seminars and workshops are ideal for that!”
To learn more about events, Niayla-dia Murray suggests, “Read the Drexel newsletters you receive. There are so many events provided by Drexel and Drexel organizations that tend to be overlooked. A lot of them are fun and would allow you to meet more people easily.”
11. Talk about your experiences.
Despite what the movies portray, college can be a challenging time — intellectually, emotionally and socially. Talk to friends, professors and trusted advisers about your experiences, and don’t be afraid to reach out if you’re struggling. You may learn that they have experienced something similar. For an unbiased perspective, the Drexel Counseling Center offers free counseling for students.
12. Have some fun!
Drexel students are known for being incredibly active — but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for rest and relaxation! Spend quality time with friends, enjoy a quiet moment at a coffee shop, or do whatever it takes to rejuvenate after working hard.
Uswa Mutaal says, “Try to step outside often to revitalize! Go trekking with the Weekend Warriors or book a day trip with the Campus Activities Board. If you're willing to go all out, go abroad! Come back with an accent and a million memories.”