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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NCSU chapter.

I knew going into my first semester at North Carolina State University I would experience homesickness, loneliness, and constant confusion, but I had no idea what I was really getting into. As a first-generation college student, even my family was bewildered by the process of orientation, moving in, and financial aid. Not being able to make friends was the least of my concerns until I was a few weeks into my classes, stressed and always in my dorm with piles of homework as my company. 

Of course, there are strategies to make friends that are obvious: join clubs, try to go to welcome week events, and talk to people in your classes. Even these can be difficult in a swarm of other freshmen who likely have friend groups from high school and connections do not come easily most of the time. So, I will be sharing the methods that really helped me find my people in the hopes that you will be able to as well! Whether you are a transfer to a new college or a freshman (totally get if not many of your fellow high school students went to the same college as you, as someone from a rural town), hopefully, these tips will help you out.

Now, I am no stranger to the way that most people think about sororities or fraternities. I used to think the same way! I remember at the beginning of my first semester when the first few people I met told me they could never see themselves in one and I would say the same thing back. Now not just me, but most of those people I am still friends with are in Greek life. By my second semester of freshman year, I was part of the executive board for a sorority.

If you had told me that I’d even be a member of one in high school, I would’ve laughed in your face. But, it is definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made considering I joined it with a friend and am continuing to make new ones every semester through it. Of course, every Greek life organization is not the same and people will have a much more pleasant experience if they choose one that aligns with their values and interests. 

For me, Phi Sigma Rho was the best choice considering it is a sorority for only stem majors, making it the perfect sorority for someone who is busy most of the time and needs help studying for those super fun classes like organic chemistry. There are other types, however, if a major-based organization is not the best for you. There are professional sororities and fraternities if you’re looking for career-based events or service-based ones if you enjoy volunteering a lot. 

Another odd strategy to make friends that I would have never thought made a difference is where you study or frequent on campus. I’m also an avid lover of the library since it is the perfect place to cram last minute for an exam or get an assignment done that is due at midnight. But, that is part of the problem if you’re feeling lonely because it is too quiet to really talk to other people. You’re also probably spending hours there at a time if that is your favorite place to work on assignments. 

At NC State, I now try to frequent the Women’s and Pride Centers we have, more often than the library. These centers make it their goal to make people feel included and congregate with people who have the same interests more than libraries do. At NC State’s Women’s Center, they even do questions that people can answer weekly and events like crafts or meetings to talk about specific topics in women’s history. While every college may not have centers exactly like these, just being in places where specific students frequent can be helpful. For instance, studying in a class building that zoology classes take place in when you’re a zoology major. You are much more likely to come across people who are learning the same topics as you than if you were studying in a social sciences building, for example. 

Lastly, while this may seem obvious, choosing your classes wisely is probably the best way that I’ve made friends during my time in college. The classes within your major are obviously going to align with your interests and making friends with your classmates should be pretty easy. But for your elective classes that may seem less important to you, you should still choose classes that are at least somewhat interesting to you. These are how you make friends with people outside of your major. 

Overall, the best way to meet your people while in college is to just do the things you love and you’ll find them along the way! Rather than trying to force connections with people you happen to come across, you should try to form those friendships with people you know you already have something in common with. That will give you something to talk about right off the back instead of that awkward small talk I know all of us college students hate!

Savannah Jenkins is a writer for Her Campus at NC State University. She is responsible for writing articles monthly to be reviewed and published. This is her first year on Her Campus. Outside of Her Campus, Savannah is the Public Relations Coordinator for Phi Sigma Rho Sorority at NC State and helps other women in STEM have a community to rely on. She helps organize service events for the sorority, such as volunteering at animal shelters, homeless shelters, and working with other female-based organizations. She is also a part of Zoology club and the Environmental Conservation Association. While in high school, she took part in Creative Writing club and creative writing classes from NCSSM. She is a sophomore at NC State University majoring in Zoology with minors in Nutrition and Wildlife Science. After graduation, she hopes to take part in international wildlife conservation to have both of her passions fulfilled: saving animals and travel. Savannah was born and raised in Lincolnton, NC with her younger brother, her cat Lucky, and her dog Foxy. She enjoys reading, listening to music, volunteering, writing, and traveling in her free time. While in Lincolnton, she helped dogs and cats get adopted through Helping Animals to Survive (HATS) which made the shelter no kill and made it possible for animals to get adopted for only $20 at the local Petsmart.