Millions of new students have embarked on their journey through higher education this past week, with hopes of finding their place in the world of academics - and someone to be new on campus with.
O-week, frosh week, freshers’ week, sponsors week, Week Of Welcome, the names are as varied as the rituals they entail. But after days of activities the silence can be deafening when the music is turned off and it’s suddenly all up to you.
The purpose of O-week is to quickly incorporate new students into the maze of societies, clubs, and organizations - and facilitate the best possible conditions for students’ well-being to be reflected in academic returns.
For some the stars align and the coincidences pan out smoothly.
They meet people with whom they have a lot in common, and many become lifelong friends. For others, they don’t.
Some are inherently non-joiners, some carry bad experiences from high school and exclude themselves before others can get the chance, some avoid gatherings gravitating around alcohol, while others get sick, or are placed in groups without someone they get along with.
The coincidences are as numerous as the students who are left standing without the social network they wished for.
But it’s not too late.
Venn takes up that glove with both hands and is now releasing an update with new features specifically tailored for the days and months after start of term.
Including intuitive tools for creating and organizing closed groups, where members can access events, group chats restricted to invited participants and map overview of relevant activities in the nearby area
So whether you want to expand your network beyond your institute or campus, or just find someone who shares your passions – you can now create your own rooms, shaped by your interests and further increase the probability of finding your people.
Because there is nothing wrong with you if you don't happen to meet someone you click with the first week on campus. It's all about the selection base.
The hand of chance has dominated human interactions for too long; where you are born, who you are seated next to in an auditorium, parents’ education and level of income or the mood of an orientation buddy.
Where technology has contributed to make our facades a little more polished and a little too often lure us towards the safety of our screens - it can, with the right architecture, also be part of the solution.
By providing a platform for safe social arenas both digitally and physically, which expands the selection base and makes it easy to connect with potential new friends, where you are.
And through innovations like algorithms that grow a little smarter with each successful match made, connect users with the highest likelihood of developing successful friendships - and let more people share in the rewards of good social relationships.
Because with what we know about the importance of completing the first semester as an indicator of the probability of completing a degree, and social well-being as decisive for completing the first year - the initial network building becomes too important to be left to the randomness of a group draw at an administrative office.
You no longer have to be the ideal student and pretend that you like lacrosse, or sign up for lists you don't really want to be on, in order to get the network you deserve.
But it is up to you to take responsibility for your social well-being and make sure your time at campus is as good as it can be, both academically and socially.
So join in, take charge, and take a chance on finding someone who is also looking for you!