How to Branch Out From Your Friend Group on Campus

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Now that you’re back on campus (or are here for the first time), you’ve been thrown into the college social scene – lunch dates at the dining hall with friends, dorm hangouts with hallmates, student clubs, library study seshes with besties and maybe even some parties. Whether you’re an upperclassman surrounded by the same friends every day or a freshman looking to meet some new ones (read: people outside of your orientation group or dorm), you shouldn’t be afraid to branch out!

As the old saying goes, you can make new friends but keep the old, and there’s no better time than National Women’s Friendship Day, coming up on September 21st! Started by the Kappa Delta sorority, Women’s Friendship Day is all about celebrating the friendships you already have in your life, meeting new people and creating new bestie bonds!

Join a student club

At the start of freshman year, you probably made the most friends from orientation and your dorm, and that’s only natural; it’s easier to meet people who are close by! Still, proximity doesn’t exactly equate to similarity; you may love all these friends, but it’s okay to want to add a few more to the mix who actually share your interests.

Joining a student club is one of the best ways to find friends who are all about your not-so-secret love of Harry Potter (try the Quidditch team!), your penchant for leadership (try student government), your adoration for all things French (try the French Club, of course) or your plans for a future in pre-med (there are on-campus support groups that’ll help you do it!). These are the friends who will just get you, no questions asked.

Use the Skout app

Want to find new friends on and off campus? There’s an app for that! Skout is the leading app for meeting new people and expanding your social circle. Find your future bestie, score a date or practice your French with someone with their Travel feature. It lets you make a connection with someone right around the corner of halfway around the world, all between classes! You can even use the app to help you plan Spring Break or the best vacay ever, which will totally come in handy now that you’ve got all these new besties to get away with! In 2013, Skout facilitated more than 500 million connections; yours could be next!

Skout has thousands of profiles of people whom you might be interested in meeting either virtually or in person, when the time is right. You can “surf” through these profiles to see who might be a good friend (maybe she shares your Mean Girls obsession? Or she loves to run, and you’re searching for a running buddy?). You can chat for free with people in your area, plus you can send potential connections icebreakers through the Wink Bomb feature – hey, it worked at orientation! Download the app to meet your newest bestie beyond your on-campus social circle!

Join (or organize) a pick-up sports game

Not athletic? That’s okay! Even if you weren’t the star of the soccer team in high school, you can still have fun (and make tons of new friends) by joining or starting a pick-up game. Ask around your dorm to see if anyone is interested in joining or knows where to find one on campus, and then tell them all to invite people they’ve met in classes or friends you haven’t met before. That way, when game day rolls around, you’ll have the biggest, best group to make your game that much more social!

Try kickball, wiffle ball, capture the flag or flag football if you’re really not thrilled with the idea of showcasing your athletic prowess (or lack thereof) in front of new friends. If you could make it through elementary school gym class, you’ve definitely got this! Playing a sport with potential new friends is one of the best ways to get to know one another; you can relax, let the endorphins kick in, cheer for each other as you capture home plate or joke around about how you can’t kick to save your life. Either way, you’ll be able to set a time to play again the next week, and thus a whole new group friendship begins!

However you do it, know that you can always – always – find new friends on and off campus whenever you’d like to, and in the spirit of National Women’s Friendship Day, there’s no time like the present to get started! Make new friends and keep the old, one is silver, but the other’s gold (and what kind of collegiette doesn’t like having all kinds of precious metals in her life, anyway)?