Starting off in a new school with thousands of strangers can be pretty intimidating at first. It’s not uncommon for a lot of new college freshmen to feel lonely or shy or feel all of those same awkward social feelings you’d expect in junior high all over again when it comes to making friends in college.
While it’s important that school be a source for getting an education and not a free for all pass to party, you’re still going to want to make some friends. In fact, having good friends can even cause you to do better in school – they can help you learn how to find things on campus, let you borrow their stuff if you need it, get classwork or take notes for you if you’re ever sick, and can give you a shoulder to turn to if you ever have a bad day (which we hope won’t happen, but sometimes you’ll get those days that are just plain awful). Of course, if you have a friend who does all these things for you, you should be a good friend in return and do the same for them if you can!
If you’re a little nervous about how you’re going to make friends in school, here are some ideas and tips to meet new people in college:
1. Get to Know Your Neighbors ASAP: If you are living on campus, the first place to start is with the people you’ll be living with and seeing the most on a regular basis. The people who are living on your floor is a great place to get started. No one is going to think you are a total weirdo for stopping by and introducing yourself on the first day. If you don’t talk to them or acknowledge them for three weeks though and then decide its time to say hi, that might be awkward.
2. Find Other Freshmen: The best part about being in college and not knowing a single person is that neither does anyone else who is new. There are likely thousands of other freshmen in the exact same boat as you.
3. Talk to People in Your Classes: Around campus and in every class you go to you’ll likely see some familiar faces. A simple “hey, aren’t you also in my xyz class?” can open up the door for conversation. Don’t be shy about talking to those sitting around you in the first few minutes before class begins or after the class is over.
4. Join a Club or Group: There are many different clubs and groups in just about every university that offers many different activities. You might feel like a dork at first, but it’s true that if you find something you like and enjoy, you’ll also meet some great people that have similar interests as you.
5. Get a Job: Not only can you make money while at school, but getting a part-time job can be another great way to meet new people and make friends.
6. Be a Designated Driver: Don’t be afraid to go to a college party or two. While binge drinking and driving drunk are serious problems amongst college students, you can avoid the problems associated with it but still get to know new people. Offering to be a designated driver not only will help keep your friends safe but help you avoid getting into trouble as well.
7. Stay True to Yourself: Don’t fall into the potential trap of trying to be or becoming something you’re not. In the long run, you’ll make much more solid friends and be a lot happier with who you are if you stay true to yourself.
8. Get a Workout: You don’t have to be an all star athlete to make friends you can exercise with. Not only will it help you avoid that dreaded freshmen 15 (sadly, no, it’s not just a myth!) it will also help you find others interested in positive and healthy activities. Whether you work out at the gym, start a jogging group, or find something else you enjoy, fitness and sports activities are a great way to make friends.
9. Don’t Get Hung Up on Old Friends From High School: Your old friends from high school can be a major vacuum when it comes to meeting new people if you give them all of your attention, constantly go home to see them, or spend hours online chatting with them or on the phone. While yes, it is certainly worth it to keep those friendships alive and well, it can make it even more difficult for you to venture out and meet new people if they get the majority of your free time. Trust us, the “real friends” will still be there even after college.
10. Find Positive People: You’re going to meet a ton of different types of people as you go through your years in school. It’s not about the quantity of friends that you have, but the quality. Even if you only have one friend, if that person is trustworthy, loyal, and there for you throughout the whole experience, that is worth more than having 100 friends who you never really get to know.
Meeting new people and making friendships in school isn’t the easiest thing in the world. A lot of people have struggled with it, especially if this is the first time you’ve ever been really pushed and forced out of your comfort zone. The good news is that almost everyone who attends college eventually finds others they can relate with and have a good time with, even if you are away from home.
Do you have any good tips for making new friends and meeting people at school? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below!
Category: Campus Life