Guide to Making Friends in College

Making friends is easy to some but if you’re like me, it’s nerve wracking. Whether you are a freshman, transfer, or a commuter, you are in a huge pool of strangers with different backgrounds and interests. College has always been described as the place where you find “your people,” or at least that's what my mom has always assured me about. Though, it’s awkward for everyone for several reasons. The comfort of being a kid is quickly diminishing and now you find yourself shopping for cleaning supplies at Target? Crazy times…

I remember making my first friend in kindergarten. I saw another girl in my class and I wanted to be her friend. The second or third day of school I asked her quite frankly, “Do you wanna be friends?” Thankfully she agreed and we were friends —  simple as that.

It was easier for me to approach others as a kid. I recently tried it over the summer while I was in an Instagram group chat and one member popped out at me. She seemed kind, funny, relatable and all of the things you would want in a good friend. I messaged her and said something like “You’re cool. I wanna be your friend." Then boom — friend made.

Moral of the story,  sometimes you just have to go for it, go up, and be blunt. Say what you think and for the most part, I believe people will appreciate your forwardness. I can see how this can seem intimidating at first. It’s not always easy to approach someone like this. I have started doing it more on campus and it has actually worked for me. Obviously if you obtain more of an extroverted personality then this is easier. So for the introverts...let us look at a different technique.

We hear it all the time. Get involved. What you need to ask yourself is, “What does getting involved mean to me?” Does it mean joining a club? Getting an on-campus job? Going to events? For me it’s probably a variety of all three. I plan on joining clubs to find people with the same interest as me and trying new things. Humans can bond over anything. There are so many people going to college just like you. To think there aren’t people like you is just silly. You will gradually start to find people who watch the same shows, have similar career goals as you, listen to the same music, etc.      

Try going to a few a club meetings  or go to an event you’ve never been to. You never know who might show up and who you might have a connection with. You might even find these people in your classes. Like I said before, you can bond over anything. You think the mac and cheese at Sam's Place is the best? Say it!

At the end of the day, you can potentially meet a new friend, just by getting out of your dorm room! It’s really up to you if you put in the effort  and allow yourself to get out of your comfort zone. Talking to your classmates and your peers may seem difficult, but it takes some getting used to, especially if you are a freshman in college.

Don’t feel as if you are alone —  I am in the same boat as you. Yes, YOU reading this article. I don’t know if I have met “my people” yet, but I am trying to engage myself as much as possible so eventually I will find friends who I can call true. My advice to you is go for it. Soak everything in and speak freely and most importantly, be yourself. Be your blunt, frank self just as most kindergarteners do. It might just work.

Here are some some on campus resources at Montclair State University if you are looking to be more active: Campus Recreation, Student Involvement.