Transitioning into my first week of college during the pandemic wasn’t easy. Having all of my classes online for the first semester, coupled with the fact that I barely have any classes with my friends from high school had me worried for the majority of my summer. I didn’t even know if I even was going to survive my first semester of college at all – yet alone “friendless”. Fortunately, I made several friends during my first week, despite having only seen them through a screen, and I want to share how it happened.
Do your best to SPEAK UP IN YOUR GROUPS
I understand that not everyone possesses great speaking and socialization skills, but that was and still is the case for me too. During my first-ever math recitation class, I was scared out of my mind to even talk to the three girls I was partnered with. Everyone was completely silent for the first few minutes until one of the girls nervously broke the ice. Near the end of the period, two of the girls had problems uploading the assignment online, and I was able to help them out by explaining to them how I usually posted my work. One of the girls still messages me to this very day, and we now bond over k-pop and our biases.
JOIN GROUP CHATS
While tapping through Instagram stories, a few of my friends posted about group chats they were added to, and offered to add anyone interested in joining too. “Sliding up” on one of the stories to ask if I could join was probably one of the most nerve-racking things I have ever done this year, but it was all worth it in the end. I was added to a group chat that is made up of “local” girls, and we all talk about our different experiences living on the same island for most of our lives. I message these girls almost every other day, and we try our best to make plans to hang out with everyone (safely).
CREATE YOUR OWN GROUP CHATS (IF YOU CAN)
I personally never made my own group chat, but one of my friends I met through one has made a few group chats for certain classes that she takes. For example, the very first day I had my math class, my friend created a discord server, inviting almost fifty people to join the server. People occasionally message each other in the group chat, especially during class. But as time goes on, it seems like it is a great and effective way of meeting new people and creating friendships. Plus, bonding over stressful experiences when it comes to difficult classes like math can also help when seeking out new friendships. Group chats don’t even have to be made on Discord or Instagram, they can be made through whatever social media a person has access to.
While my first week of college was pretty hectic, I made a few friends that I hope will still be with me for a long time. Psyching myself out before the week even started, worrying about if I‘d even have friends at all, was completely normal, and I’m sure many other students felt the same way too. Sometimes it’s just a matter of time before you’re able to break out of your own comfort zone and execute the first step in talking to someone else.