Before coming to college, one of my biggest worries was about how I was going to make friends. I’d had most of my closest friends since elementary and middle school, and had stuck with them for so long that I was used to just having them. I have always been socially awkward which made it especially difficult, so I’d avoid making new friends and stay with the people I already knew and understood me. But I knew in college that wasn’t going to be an option; I had to go out and make new friends and meet new people. It was scary to think about— felt like I had almost forgotten how to make new friends. I came to learn, however, that I wasn’t alone and almost everyone felt the way I did. Meeting other people wasn’t as hard as I thought, however, and made some incredibly close friends within just a couple months of coming to school. I know I would never have if I stayed quiet and hid myself away, which is tempting at times. I would like to share the best methods that helped me make friends during my freshman year.
- Reach out to people before moving in.
Before even starting college, try to make an effort with others. There will more than likely be a Facebook group made by your school for the Class of 2023, in which people can post about themselves as well as leave their social media for people to contact and follow them. I found that not only following people, but also messaging them was very beneficial to me. I ended up making a few friends through Instagram and Snapchat and planned to meet up with them once school started, and I’m very happy I did! Having friends to start off with made me feel a lot more confident that I was going to make more, and that I wouldn’t be alone at the beginning of the year.
- Get involved on campus.
Join a club or two! Go to an on-campus event! Going to these things is one of the easiest ways to meet new people. Especially when the weather’s nice, there are always plenty of events and club-sponsored events to go to, on and around campus, and tons of other people will always be there. It’s a perfect opportunity to mingle and find new people to hang out and chat with, and chances are, you’ll make some friends by going to a few. I went to quite a few on-campus events this year, and during them I not only got closer to friends I already had, but also met some new people and got to know them.
Joining clubs is an easy way to find people with similar interests to you, and bond over them. Whether it’s one thing, or two, you can easily find someone with something in common to you, and that’s one of the quickest ways to make a friend. I am not in many clubs as of now, but in the ones I joined I have met some great people I talk with often.
- Talk to people in your dorm.
You’ll (most likely) be living with the same people all year, and you’ll be seeing them around everyday. Whether you’re in the hallway, bathroom or the common room(s), you can’t avoid seeing your dorm and floormates constantly. Thus, you’re kind of forced to interact with them. Introduce yourself to someone you see around a lot and strike up a conversation. Invite them to eat with you or hang out sometime. Talk to your “neighbors” when you see them around. Even if you don’t become best friends, it’s great to have people on your floor that you can casually talk with. Most of my closest friends I met right in my dorm, and am grateful to have reached out to them. It’s a great way to make connections with people, from my experiences.
Making friends has never been easy for me, especially as an adult, but I’ve proved that it isn’t impossible. If I had just sat there and waited for people to come to me, it wouldn’t have happened, and I’m sure that’s true for everyone. Everyone has been in the same boat as you at some point, and most are willing to meet new people. If you put yourself out there in college, chances are you’ll end up with some of the closest friends you’ve ever had— s that certainly worked for me.