College can be a scary place, especially for incoming freshies. But it’s not nearly as lonely if you meet like-minded people. You know – cool youth who share your concern about animals and the environment. It’s not all that hard to pick fellow vegans or vegetarians out of a crowd when you look in the right places.
So consider the following tips on making friends and influencing people to help kick off your college year just right:
- Join the campus animal rights club or vegetarian or vegan society. If there isn’t one, set it up! Post fliers and sign-up sheets on community bulletin boards. Ask interested people what kind of group activities they would enjoy, such as vegan potlucks or a book club featuring animal-rights literature.
- Attend college fests and concerts, and set up an animal rights stall. Don’t sweat the supplies. PETA Youth can send you banners, leaflets, stickers, videos and more. Just write to [email protected].
- Pass out vegetarian/vegan starter kits on campus. It’s an easy way to meet – and educate – people. You can order them from us!
- Sport animal rights T-shirts and badges. You’re bound to catch someone’s eye. Even if they aren’t already active for animals, they might be interested in learning more. If you want to order gear from us, just write to us to learn what we have in stock.
- Volunteer at a local animal rights organisation or animal shelter. You’ll meet people and animals. If you see a stray on campus, give him or her food, water and love, and, bam, you’ve got yourself a new friend! Be sure also to work with the local group to get the dogs and cats on your campus sterilised.
- Hang out at restaurants and coffee shops. Don’t be shy – strike up a conversation and share some PETA literature. You might end up having a lot in common with others.
You’ll probably meet like-minded people when you least expect it – for instance, when you’re assigned to do a group project or when you have to share a table with someone in the library. One thing will lead to another, and before you know it, you’ll be talking about your favourite tofu recipes or animal-friendly bands.
Once you meet at least one other person, it will get easier. Together, you can approach the manager of the canteen and ask for more vegan options, attend demonstrations or organise animal-friendly events. You might even inspire others and trigger an animal-saving frenzy.
Don’t panic if you don’t make friends right away. You bring something to the table – a fun, compassionate vegan perspective – and people will want to learn more of what you’re about in no time.