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Sense of Belonging

Feeling connected to others at your institution

For many students, thinking about college involves two things: studying hard and making lots of friends. However, once arriving at college, many students can feel like they don’t belong. If you find yourself feeling this way, the first thing to understand is that you are NOT alone.

It is very common for new college students to feel like there aren’t other students they can relate to, or that the problems they’re facing are unique. Rest assured, there are many students who have faced what you’re facing - both right now and in past semesters. Making an effort to reach out to other students and learn about them is a good first step to feeling less isolated. Learning from experienced students who have faced and overcome those challenges is even better.


It’s also common to feel like the people at your college or university aren’t there to help. Faculty and staff can seem busy, important, or disinterested. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Those people work in higher education just to help students like you. So if you’re feeling isolated or like a problem is too big to handle, asking a faculty member or advisor is one of the most helpful things you can do.

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Mother Teresa

How can I improve my Sense of Belonging?

Strategies to Use

  • In each course you’re taking, try to spark up a conversation with just one student you don’t already know. Appreciate both the ways in which you are similar and different. Regardless of those things, it’s likely that you both have similar goals (i.e., a college degree) and similar challenges to face to get there.


Resources at Alcorn State

  • The Office of Academic Advising  has professional advisors to guide students in comprehending university policies, exploring career and educational options, addressing academic challenges, monitoring educational progress, and managing records for progression and major transitions.

  • The Office of Student Engagement & Community Service Outreach (OSECSO) offers holistic student development through co-curricular activities, emphasizing leadership, civic engagement, experiential learning, diversity appreciation, and community development to enhance the university experience.

  • The Department of Residence Life aims to create a supportive living environment that enhances the academic mission of the University and ensures an enjoyable on-campus experience for all students.

Online Resources

  • “Getting involved” doesn’t always have to include things on campus. Try to explore volunteer opportunities in and around your community.

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