6 Tips on Making Friends in College

By Kailey Walters on September 6, 2019

Arguably, one of the biggest parts of college is the people you interact with and the friendships you form. From the moments you spend sitting in the library until the wee hours of the morning to the spontaneous trips you make to the dining hall, the people you hang out with become your friends through it all.

If you’re entering college for the first time, or perhaps you’re transferring from a different school, making friends may be one of your concerns. After all, in addition to juggling classes, sleeping, eating, and a whole bunch of other things, you have to fit in a social life somewhere, right?

The idea of making new friends might even sound a little scary at first, especially if you’ve grown used to hanging out with the same people all your life. The good news is, there are many ways to go about making friends during your time in college.

via pexels

1. Act natural and be yourself.

Although it sounds cliche, the most important thing when it comes to making friends is to be yourself. Now that you’re in college, you don’t have to be restricted by what people from your high school or your hometown thought of you — you can be whoever you want to be! Don’t hesitate to put yourself out there and let others know who you truly are. People will want to be friends with you for the real you, so just relax, act natural, and be yourself.

2. Get to know the people you’re living with.

One of the easiest ways to meet new people in college is by getting familiar with the people you live with. Since you’ll be seeing them every day, you might as well start there. If you have a roommate, or even multiple roommates or suitemates, take some time to get to know them. They’re most likely in the same boat as you and want to make new friends, too.

Another great way to meet new people and make friends, especially if you live in a corridor style dorm, is to leave your door open. An open door means that you’re friendly and willing to interact, which attracts others to casually stop by and introduce themselves or start up a conversation with you.

You can also meet new people by spending time in the common areas of your dorm building. If your building happens to have a common area where people can sit around and hang out, definitely take advantage of that space. Some of these common areas may have kitchens, couches, and even pool tables or other games for people to occupy themselves with. Since it’s a place where many other students hang out on a regular basis, you’re sure to meet some new friends if you spend enough time there.

3. Join extracurricular clubs and organizations.

Another fantastic way to meet new people is by showing up at clubs and organization meetings. In the first few weeks of the semester, you’ll be able to try out a variety of clubs on campus based on what you’re interested in. Chances are that your school has a ton of different clubs to suit many people’s needs and interests, so take a leap out of your comfort zone and join a new club! Whether it’s chess club or dance team or an intramural sport, you’re sure to connect with other students who have similar interests and passions as you do, which is always a great place to start a friendship.

4. Talk to people in your classes.

Chances are that the people in your classes are interested in the same things as you or have similar educational and career goals. Before or after class (preferably not during), take some time to talk to the people you’re sitting next to. You never know what kinds of friendships could blossom from these simple interactions.

5. Eat meals with others.

A great way to bond with and get to know people better is by sharing meals with them. Personally invite an acquaintance or friend you made from a previous encounter to have lunch or dinner, or even grab coffee together. This is a great opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with someone and get to know them better in a casual, natural setting. It’s also a wonderful idea to eat your meals with bigger groups of people as well, as that gives you a chance to interact with even more people and have multiple interesting conversations. Ultimately, it depends on how you prefer to interact with others.

6. Talk to your coworkers if you have an on-campus job.

If you happen to have an on-campus job, talking to your coworkers is one way to meet more people and potentially form new friendships. Since campus jobs are generally more casual than full-time jobs in the real world, and many of your coworkers will be fellow students, you’ll have more in common with your coworkers and it will be easier to become friends with them.

Attempting to make friends in college might sound intimidating, but it definitely doesn’t have to be. Just remember to be yourself and take a step out of your comfort zone once in a while, and you will have plenty of opportunities throughout college to form lasting bonds.

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