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5 Helpful Tips on How to Make Friends as a First-Year College Student

All through senior year of high school, there is one thing on everyone’s mind…



By May, you and everyone else have made their choice of where they are going and you just can’t wait to move in! August comes around, the car is all packed, and you are ready to go.

But wait, something is missing…


You realize you no longer have those high school friends that know EVERYTHING about you right at the tip of your fingers, and it hits you: you have to make friends.


That might seem daunting for a lot of people, I know it was for me. Personally, I have had the same group of friends since the seventh grade with the exception of a few hiccups, but I had almost forgotten how to make friends. This seemed like an impossible challenge that I wasn’t sure how to conquer, but I managed my way through it. So, here are 5 tips and tricks on how to make friends as a first-year college student.

Online Facebook Group

For Hofstra and most other schools, before college even starts there is an online facebook group. This is the perfect way to get a jumpstart on the nerve-wracking process that is making friends at college. It’s super easy too, all you have to do is join your college’s Facebook group as soon as you commit, and post a little blurb about yourself with some pictures. I met my very first college friend, Gabby, through this! We had orientation together and she is the first person to comment on my post. She lives two floors below me and we are still really good friends now. This is also a fantastic way to find a roommate if you do not want to go random, like me. My roommate commented under what I posted, so I messaged her and it turned out we had so much in common in the way we live so we chose each other and I couldn’t be more grateful because she is possibly the best roommate ever. 

Move In Day

Move-in day can be one of the most hectic days of college. Personally, I was anxious about getting my room the right way, spending enough time saying goodbye to my parents while also spending enough time with my two high school friends that came to help, while also not neglecting my new roommate or any possible new friends! A great way to avoid all of this, leave your door open! Your floor will be bustling with people on the move on move-in day, with everyone rushing in and out as they realize they forgot things from their cars or need a quick run to target, so having those quick greets as you see people waiting by the elevator is a great start! I met two of my best friends, Amanda and Sabrina this way. I was in my room hanging up a cute little starfish sign then they yelled in and said hi to me and my roommate. Later on, we saw them again and I was known as “the girl sitting on the ground yelling at her friend that the sign was crooked!” These quick encounters can lead to a memorable and funny experience that can quickly build a long-lasting friendship. 

The First Night

The very first night you are at college is stressful. Almost everyone is in the same shoes as you, they just left their parents for the first time in their life and might be a little confused on how to start this new chapter. The first night is a great way to start new friendships. My current college friend group is everyone I met on that very first night, our group chat name is still “First Night Hoes” (2.0 because our first chat got messed up) because that was our very first time together. 


After that first week of college and everything has settled down, you may still find yourself in a hole when it comes to friends. Joining clubs and being active in your classes is a great way to continue to make friends throughout your college career. Study groups and tutoring is a great way to bond with people in your major and you can relate to each other in a different way. Also, joining clubs is a great way to find a community of like-minded people where you can truly be yourself!

Random Compliments

For our final tactic on how to make friends at college…

Random Compliments!

This way might seem a little corny, but I promise it works. This is one of the best ways to make a new friend. A simple “Hey, I like your hair!” or “Wow, that shirt is super cute!” can spark a whole new friendship. During one of our first activities here at Hofstra, there was a girl with a super pretty rainbow Hydroflask (she was also quite pretty) and somewhere inside of me was yelling “Go be her friend!!!!!” Searching for a way to start the conversation with something other then “Hi my name is Arianna and I am a biology major,” which everyone already knew anyway because of all the introduction activities we had played already, the Hydroflask caught my eye.

“Hey! I really like your Hydroflask!” I said as I walked closer to her and that sparked the beginning of the greatest friendship I have here at college. Caitlin, the Hydroflask girl, was the one who said this article would be perfect for me because of our experience. Also, giving compliments is a really great way to be nice to people, and this is always the perfect way to make a first impression, even to the people overhearing the conversation.

The photo pictured is Caitlin, she let me make a collage of her posing with the said Hydroflask! 

Yes, this new exciting adventure that is college can be nervewracking at first because it might feel like you are doing this alone. But rest assured, every single new college kid is feeling the same way so just keep in mind these few tricks and in no time college will become your new home filled with all of your new best friends!

*Photo courtesy of the author

Arianna is a part of the class of 2023 at Hofstra University. She is a biology major with a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology. She can be found at any moment in her dorm room talking with her mystery snails, and no that is not a joke. She is probably eating ice cream and waffles with them too.
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