College is an exciting time in your life, as you have the opportunity to discover your interests as well as to meet a wide variety of people. College is also a great opportunity to develop meaningful friendships that can last a lifetime. To make friends in college, here are five tips to assist you.
1. Be willing to attend social functions and take the initiative to speak to others
College is about going where the people are, and there will be plenty of opportunities to achieve this. However, you must have the attitude that you are willing to take a step out of your comfort zone to meet new people. For many, this may seem difficult, especially if you have had problems in the past developing friendships. One thing you can take comfort in is that everyone is in the same position as you. If you have struggled in the past with making friends, here are a few tips to help you in this area:
- Start small by attending a club or spending time with others in your dorm.
- When going to these functions, find someone you haven’t met before and make a simple introduction. Use natural icebreakers that are suitable to the situation. A good example of this is if you attend a movie group, ask others what are some of their favorite movies. Now, this will be awkward at first, but the more you do it, the more confidence you’ll build.
- After meeting new people, stay in touch with them. Ask for their phone number, email address or Facebook page. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to invite them out to spend more time with you.
- If you had an awkward or bad experience, don’t let this detour you from meeting others. Repeat the first three steps until you gain some confidence.
By having the attitude that you are willing to go out and meet people, you have already won half the battle. Take it from me, I was socially awkward throughout much of my grade school years. However, when I attended college I went to campus events to meet new people. From these experiences, I met people that I’m still close friends with to this day. Overall, you’ll be surprised to find that it is simple to meet new people if you are willing to take the first step to achieve this. To make this transition even easier, try to meet others before classes begin.
2. Finding friends before classes begin
Here are some ways to meet others before classes:
- First, you should see if anyone you know from high school is attending the same college. Even if you haven’t spent much time with that person, this can make the transition much smoother for both of you.
- Many colleges offer visit days and orientation before classes begin. This is a great way to meet other students that will be attending school with you. Therefore, be sure to attend these events and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to others. When doing so, you can ask simple questions such as where are they from and what they are studying. Use this opportunity to establish a bond with someone else and receive their contact information before leaving the event. Next, reach out to them over the summer to see how they are doing. As you continue to maintain communication, invite them to attend a campus club meeting with you. Further, if they share the same major, see if you both can schedule the same classes.
- If you plan to live on campus, some schools will give you your roommate’s contact information. If you receive this, don’t be afraid to give them a call to get to know more about them. Then, when you move into your dorm, it won’t be as awkward and you may have someone else to go with you to activities.
Another way to meet others is by finding out social opportunities your university offers.
3. Find out what your college offers in social opportunities
There will be plenty of opportunities to meet others through groups or extracurricular activities. Before school starts, you should find out more about what your school offers in terms of clubs, sports and volunteer opportunities. Many universities will have this information on their websites as well as contact information and meeting times. Some clubs will even have a Facebook page you can like to find out more about the group as well as who else participates. If they do have a Facebook page, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to others in the group.
4. Take advantage of welcome week
Typically, most colleges will hold different events during the first week of school for students. This is a way for them to welcome you to campus as well as introduce you to some other opportunities available on campus such as clubs and intramural sports. This serves as a great opportunity for you to find others that share your same interests through these groups. Here are some tips to make welcome week successful:
- Find a roommate or acquaintance you’ve met to attend some of the events with you, as this can make it less awkward. However, if you don’t have someone to go to the events with, go alone. The hosts of these events are friendly and welcoming. Further, it is likely there will be others that attend alone as well. When attending these events, be sure to introduce yourself to at least one other person and if you get along well together, plan to attend other events together.
- You should try to attend as many events as you can. Before classes begin, you’ll have ample free time so this is a great way to get out to socialize and find out more about these clubs.
- By attending these events, you’ll familiarize yourself more on campus and the surrounding areas. This is an excellent way to discover places you may want to spend time with others at such as live music venues, coffee houses and restaurants. Additionally, if you are religious, you can learn more about the different programs around campus so you can attend a service.
5. Learn the art of balancing
Once classes begin, it’s easy to lose yourself in your studies. While your education should be your first priority, don’t hole yourself up in the process. A great way to prevent this is to schedule a night or two out a week to participate in a club, have dinner with friends or play intramural sports. Alternatively, college can be an overwhelming experience and the freedom of it can be hard to handle at first. Therefore, don’t go overboard by socializing so much your education pays the price.
Overall, these are five simple ways to meet others in college. The goal is to have the attitude that you want to meet others and are willing to take that initiative. Once you do so, you should find opportunities around school to bond with people. By doing so, you can discover others that share similar interests, which can lead to great friendships.