Literally How to Make Friends

Welcome back to another exciting semester GSU! I know that returning can be a bit of a drag. Who wants another semester of heavy loads of coursework and monotone professors? Luckily for you, I have a few ways to ease your mind and (slowly) bring you out of your cocoon to be a beautiful social butterfly! Many people struggle with social anxiety and feeling extremely introverted or withdrawn from their peers. Following these steps can help lead you down a path that allows you to be more satisfied with your social skills. You don’t have to finish this guide to the end, nor do you have to do everything step-by-step. This is solely a general idea of how to start making friends and you should only do what you feel comfortable doing. Good luck!

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Let’s start by saying “hello!”

In most cases, the first step to getting comfortable with others is introducing yourself to new people. You don’t have to strike up a conversation just yet, but try to wave or show a friendly gesture to people you walk by on your way to class, your dorm, or anywhere else. This way you can be more familiar with what it feels like to introduce yourself to someone. In the case that someone says hello to you, try being receptive by returning their greeting.

 

Start a conversation with someone you don’t see regularly.

When it comes to practicing how to talk to your peers, you should start by talking to someone you haven’t seen in your classes or other places you frequently go. Choose someone who is also by themselves and looks like someone you feel comfortable approaching. These two things are important because you’ll want to be in a situation where you aren’t feeling any kind of anxiety or nervousness. You can even try to pick someone that looks like a close friend or family member! Starting a conversation can seem like the hardest thing to do, but it’s easier once you figure out what it is you want to talk about. Use things like the setting, current events, or the weather to engage someone. It also helps to stick to topics that you can both relate to. Once you know what you want to say, say it! Carry on the conversation as long as you can, then let them know you’re done talking by saying, “It was nice talking to you,” or “I have to head class.” Try this out a few different times before heading to the next step.

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Speak with someone in your class.

This may be harder to do because you know that you’ll likely be seeing this person every other day. Don't let that intimidate you! By now you’ve held conversations with at least three different people, so let’s bring it full circle by having someone you can communicate with on a regular basis. Pick some time before or after class to start talking to your classmate. This should be a bit easier now because you both share something in common: the class. You can talk about an upcoming homework assignment or complain about how fast your professor goes through the PowerPoint. Keep the convo as light or deep as you’re willing to go. Keep this kind of momentum going by continuing to talk to this person when you’re both in class. Soon enough, you’ll at least have a buddy for the duration of the class! Don’t force the companionship to be a close friendship; only be as close to the person as you’re willing to be. Try this with more people in the same class and in your other classes to feel more comfortable with making friends!

Some people are naturally social, and it’s perfectly okay if you aren’t that person. Just remember to be comfortable in your own skin and allow room to try new things. You never know what will come from it!