Belonging From Day One: Student Engagement Strategies

Published on : 9/22/23
  • Choosing to attend a college or university is just the beginning of students finding their fit. From there, how do they find the people and experiences that make them feel like they truly belong?

    Combatting loneliness and isolation doesn’t happen overnight, but it must begin from day one.

    College students ranked “making new friends” as the third most difficult hurdle to overcome during their first month of college, just after time management and increased pressures (2022-2023 Sodexo Student Lifestyle Survey). They’re looking for their people – but with feelings of loneliness (54%) and isolation (47%) also growing among students, they need some help along the way.

    The influx of students on campus in the fall begins a unique journey of finding the people and experiences that make each student feel like they belong. As a hub of socialization, campus dining plays a pivotal role in this process.

    Belonging happens from day one – whether that’s orientation, move-in day, or the first dinner away from home. We need to help foster this sense of community through student engagement strategies and create safe spaces for students to be with one another. 


    Leaning on partners, like Sodexo Campus, helps SPARK community engagement & enhances student experiences through connection, fun, and authentic interactions. Check out our data-driven, insight-built approach to student engagement strategies and dining in our Fit & Flourish Whitepaper.


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