Making Friends Late in the Game - How to Survive When Your Friends are Abroad

So it’s junior year. The time when everyone goes abroad. But what happens if you choose not to? Or aren’t able to? Or your best friends are going abroad the opposite semester that you are? For some, this isn’t really such a big problem. But for others (like me), the thought of being on campus without some of my closest friends is a less than desirable one. All summer I dreaded the thought of having to resort to my extra social freshman self to make new friends, but so far it really hasn’t been too bad.

 

Whether you’re experiencing the same situation as me, or want to branch out, here are my tips for meeting new people on the Hill:

  1. 1. Join a Club Sport You Never Thought You’d Play

    Just as I did my freshman fall, I went to the club fair this year and meandered through the aisles of seemingly endless clubs that Colby has to offer. Unlike a lot of Colby students, I’m not super athletic, so I was always hesitant to try out sports here. I decided to challenge myself and sign up for Club Volleyball. I already had one friend who goes regularly, and at the first practice, I quickly met some really cool people. I’m not even sure volleyball is the sport for me, and I may or may not still have bruises on my forearms a week later, but I will definitely be going to the next practice. It was a great, low-pressure way to step out of my comfort zone, meet new people, and distract myself from missing my friends.

  2. 2. Go Back to Your Roots

    I’ll be the first to say I’m not the most religious person out there, but I’ve realized that finding people with the same religious background as you can be really comforting. I don’t have many friends on campus who are Jewish, so I’ve always been a little nervous to go to Hillel events. But without the friends I’m used to relying on for consistent dinner plans, now is the perfect time to start attending things like Shabbat dinner on Fridays. Find something that makes you think of home and see if there’s others at Colby who share whatever it is in common with you! Whether it’s joining a religious club, or getting involved in the Colby Music Incubator to get in touch with your long lost love of playing an instrument, there’s plenty of opportunities to meet new people by going back to your roots.

  3. 3. Ask Someone New to a Meal

    We all have those people on campus who we used to have class with or met at a party one night, but don’t really hang out with regularly. Now is the opportunity to get to know these people better! Ask the girl who you always smile at in passing to grab lunch sometime, and then actually do it! It’s easy to eat with the same people all the time, but asking someone you’re not super close with has proven to me to be a great way to get to know new people.

  4. 4. Appreciate Alone Time

    One of the biggest things I’ve realized since coming back to school without some of my best friends is that being alone isn’t a bad thing. It’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself to always be with people and be doing exciting things. Sometimes, it’s just as important to have a night in and watch Netflix by yourself. Also, no shade at all to my friends, but now that I’m not sitting in Miller for hours attempting to read one chapter while simultaneously sharing memes and giggling about nothing, I’m getting my homework done a whole lot faster!

It’s only September and I miss my friends more than words can say, but in all actuality trying to make new friends as a junior has been a lot more fun than I thought it could be. And we’ll all be reunited in no time!