You’re signing up for college classes, styling your new dorm room, and sadly, saying goodbye to your high school BFFs. As you learn how to make friends in college, the transition to college life can be very exciting and also very intimidating.
Making new friends in college can be nerve-wracking and stressful, but it does not have to be. The good news is that most freshmen and new college students are eager to make friends at the start of their college experience. So, rest easy knowing you will be in the same situation as them, especially during the first few weeks of college.
Your college group of friends can turn into your lifelong friends. With that in mind, below are some tips for how to make friends in college.
The Best Way to Make Friends in College
Be True to Yourself
Rest easy knowing that no matter which university you attend, you will make friends. While doing so, it is important to be yourself and show your true personality. You do not need to worry about fitting in as there will be people who share similar interests no matter which university you attend. Focus on being open about your interests and experiences so you will attract friends who share the same values.
Take Advantage of the First Few Weeks
The first few weeks of college can be one of the best and easiest ways to meet new people. There is a potential friend around every corner at the beginning of the semester. The amount of campus events, besides orientation, is in your favor. These events will be filled with students who are having similar feelings that you may be having. Be willing to get out of your comfort zone and strike up a conversation with someone. They will most likely feel just as grateful that you did.
Join a Club
One of the easiest ways to find people who share your interests is to join a club or campus organization that you are interested in. Performing an activity you love with people who love it as much as you will create a strong bond.
Many different club options will be available to you as you enter college, from sports and running clubs, such as the university cross country club, to a writing or charity group. Whatever you are passionate about, there is most likely a club designated to it. If you do not find a club that you are interested in, you can always start one yourself.
Get to Know Your Roommates in Dorms
You’re sharing common rooms with these people, so why not see if you share common interests? Using the dorm to your advantage is a great way to make friends.
Most first-year students living in a dorm will be going through similar experiences as you. Whether you are missing home or feeling overwhelmed, there is likely someone else in your building that is feeling the same way. You can relate to others through these shared experiences and get through them together, thus creating a close bond.
In your dorm, you have endless opportunities to meet new friends. Go ahead and knock on your neighbor’s dorm room and ask if they would like to go to the dining hall or hang out.
Get a Job on Campus
Getting a job while in college has more benefits than just making new friends. You will also be able to earn some money, which never hurts while attending college.
While working a campus job, you will meet students who are completing the same tasks as you, which results in shared experiences. Many college friends meet through jobs they work while attending college.
Share a Meal
Throughout history, people have always bonded over food. Invite people to the dining hall, out to a local restaurant, or to grab a coffee. Sharing a meal is an excellent way to learn more about a person.
If you meet a friend in class, ask if they would like to grab a coffee between your next class. This is a great opportunity to chat with someone new, and if you decide you do not see yourself being friends outside of class, at least you have a friend in class.
Ask Typical Questions
This may seem obvious, but try starting a conversation by asking typical questions. Basic, small talk questions are a great way to strike up a conversation. Try out the following questions: Where are you from? What’s your major? Or, what classes are you taking this semester?
These are all great conversation starters for incoming students. You are bound to find common ground through one of these questions, even if it is complaining about the prerequisite classes that all freshman year students have to take.
Simply, be nice. Strangers will first notice your attitude and will likely mirror that same attitude back to you. You would not want to be friends with someone rude or cold, so you should not portray that attitude toward someone else.
Use Social Media
Social media is a great tool to take advantage of when you first get to college. Sharing your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, or whichever platform you prefer with your new classmates might help make connections. Connecting with potential friends on social media will let you get a better sense of who they are or what they enjoy doing outside of the classroom.
Form a Study Group
One easy way to make connections is by setting up a study group. You can reach out to people from a class that stresses you out or from one of your favorite classes. The other students will most likely appreciate the opportunity to get help or chat about the assignments going on in that class. You will be able to bond over an upcoming exam or work through a study guide with this group of people.