The first couple weeks of college are a struggle for everyone, no matter where you decide to go. Despite the initial awkward encounters, it is important to remember that sometimes these people will become your best friends. Some of these people on the other hand, may not last long in your life. Here’s some advice I would tell anyone struggling to make friends or find their people at college:
- Give each relationship time: If you can tell off the bat that your roommate, classmate, friend or neighbor is not the type of person you want to associate with, then leave that relationship. HOWEVER, if there is one characteristic about someone that irritates you or is not the usual type of person you hang out with- give them a chance. College is a time that connects you to all different types of people and you may find that changing up your friendships is a refreshing experience.
- Join a club alone or with a friend: During freshman year, I joined Her Campus by myself and I stuck with the club despite not initially making any friends. With time, I began to make friends and look forward to going to each meeting. This semester I decided to pick up another club and I joined APO, a co-ed fraternity based on friendship and service. This was one of the best decisions in my life because this club really gave me so many connections and new relationships. At first I joined because one of my friends was already in the club, but going to meetings and events has given me so many new friends that I am so grateful for. (Heres an actual pic of me and my big!)
- Don’t take on too many things at once: Freshman year alone can be a big adjustment and keeping busy can be exhausting. During any big adjustment, give yourself time to make friends, settle in and feel comfortable with your routine. By the end of my freshman year, I had only made about 2 friends. However, finishing up the first semester of my sophomore year, I feel a lot closer to both of my friends and I know I have a lot of closer friendships because of my clubs and organizations.
- It is okay not to have a “group”: In many high schools there are stereotypical friend groups based on interests or reputations. However, coming to college does not mean you need to find a group. It’s nice to have friends in all different places that you can rely on at different times for different needs. If you do manage to find a group of people you really like, that’s perfectly okay! Just remember, if making friends doesn’t work out exactly as you planned give it some time!