How to Make Friends in College
Posted by Girls Guide To on August 13, 2012 at 1:13 PM
One of the most rewarding parts of attending a college or university is all the new friends you’ll make. For some of us, meeting new people isn’t always the easiest, but don’t worry, all freshman are going through this. Whether you think you’re too busy, already have enough friends, or you’re just shy, try these tips to make some more acquaintances. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your next BFF.
Join Clubs & Groups
You will be bombarded with club and group invites the moment you step on campus as a freshman. Take advantage of these! Don’t just stick with the same clubs you were in during high school, branch out. I suggest trying at least 3 new clubs in addition to ones you might already be familiar with. Go to at least 2 meetings before deciding if you want to join the club long-term. Don’t worry, they won’t expect you to commit immediately. If you’ve already declared a major, then make sure to join the groups for that major as well, like the Women’s Engineering group; it’s the perfect place to meet study buddies!
Were you notorious for your lack of coordination in high school? Don’t let that hold you back now; no one needs to know that you can’t throw a baseball further than 10 feet. Most colleges have a huge assortment of sports that you never even tried in high school. There are often club sports with students just like you, who are still learning the in and outs of the sport.
Hit Up Every Event
Colleges are always holding free social events and concerts, so take advantage of them while you can. During the first several weeks, check out all the different events, like an ice cream social, trivia, or an outdoor concert. The more variety in the places you go, the more different people you’ll meet.
Use the Lounge or Courtyard for Homework
While the weather is beautiful, use the courtyard outside your dorm or other outside places to study. If the weather is bad, then use the lounges inside. Staying cooped up in your room isn’t healthy, and isn’t inviting for others to join you. Maybe you’ll see someone with the same textbook as you, and you can strike up a conversation about the crazy professor.
Keep an Open Door
If you must work at your desk, then leave your door open. This is really common in dorms and others won’t hesitate if they want to stop by and visit, which is what you want! If you’re studying hard for a final then yes, you’ll want to keep your door open or head to the library so you can really concentrate. Otherwise, keep an open door and open mind.
Get an On-Campus Job
I highly suggest not getting a campus job during the first semester of college. It’s the time for exploring the new campus and city you’re in, as well as keeping on top of your homework. If you think you can balance a part-time job, then it’s another great way to meet more people. Pick up a part-time job on campus, but only commit to one or two shifts a week. Even better, try working at the bookstore, library, or coffee shop where you’ll interact with a ton of students, and probably be able to study during the slow shifts, too.
Use Your Electives
You won’t believe all the possible electives you can pick up in college. Try whatever interests you because you’ll receive credit hours for it. For example, my alma mater offers skydiving classes, pottery, astronomy, and this hilarious sexual education class that everyone takes. These classes are usually pretty easy and you’ll definitely be bonding with your classmates over the ridiculous and fun things you’ll study.
Hang with Your Hometown
Unless you go to a university on the other side of the country, (which is really cool, btw!) you’ll more than likely know a few familiar faces on campus. Even if you weren’t best friends before, stay in touch with students that you went to high school with. You can catch rides back home with each other, and they’ll understand when you’re homesick for the same things as them.
Your college should have an organization or two that shares all the volunteer opportunities on campus. Whether it’s cleaning up around campus, Homes for Humanity, or tutoring at a nearby school, you’ll not only feel better about yourself, but meet others who care about helping people too. My university had tons of small-commitment opportunities like helping out at a special event, and huge campus-wide events that tons of students volunteered for. Plus, you’ll get a few special perks too, like a t-shirt and lunch, in addition to the reward of helping others and making new friends.
Are you excited for making new friends in college? If you’ve already started, what advice do you have for freshmen? Share your thoughts in the comments!