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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USF chapter.

To those struggling to make friends in college, you are not alone.  My entire first year was spent with me bouncing between a couple of friend groups, yet never truly feeling at home at a single one. I hung out with one girl consistently, but every other relationship in my life felt temporary, and I lacked a true bond with these individuals.  I spent my time with friends of friends, spoke very little, and knew in my heart that their values did not match mine.  If you have ever felt this way, especially in college, you understand how lonely it can be at times.  Being away from family and hometown friends, with nothing to distract yourself from the resulting homesickness, is a difficult lifestyle to sustain. If I was able to change this aspect of my life and meet the incredible people I call my best friends, so can you.

  1. Go to everything. 

 I mean everything. Whether it be a club event, a social event in the student center, or a random party invite, I encourage you to attend.  Putting yourself out there can better your social skills, open you up to a diverse group of individuals, and allow for the right people to find their place in your life.

  1. Join clubs or sororities.  

I know they can be stereotyped, but one of the best things I have done for myself was join a sorority.  Through my sorority, I met many like-minded women and found myself able to converse with anybody. Out of this group of girls, I met my close friends, whom I hang out with every single day of my life, genuinely. Small things like running errands, doing homework, and binging shows together can really elevate your college experience, and alleviate that sense of loneliness immensely.   If a sorority is not your thing, there are also multiple clubs, whether that be interest, nationality, or career-based.  It is so essential to be involved, and be present at your university. The more effort you put in, the more it will start to feel more like home.

  1. Social Media 

It sounds cliche, but some of the best friendships start on Instagram.  Many people now live with the individual they messaged the first week of college.  There are countless individuals in the same boat, and I doubt anybody would turn down a new friend, especially when most of them are away from home. 

  1. Be patient

The best friendships are formed over time, and only time can tell you whether a relationship is worth fostering.  I chose to no longer associate with dozens of people throughout college, and they did the same to me.  Sometimes, it takes a while to find the people who will go on grocery runs with you, or randomly do a puzzle with you on a Tuesday night.  That being said, I would much rather remain friends with those types of people, as opposed to wasting time on someone who is not playing a role in bettering my college experience.

In conclusion, the journey from loneliness to genuine friendships in college is a transformative experience that many of us navigate. My initial struggles of bouncing between friend groups and feeling disconnected emphasized the importance of actively participating in the social fabric of university life. By attending events, joining clubs and sororities, leveraging social media, and exercising patience, I discovered the incredible individuals who now form the core of my daily life. As you navigate your path, remember that you are not alone in your struggles to find lasting friendships. Embrace the opportunities around you, stay patient, and be open to the diverse array of people and experiences that college offers. Building meaningful connections takes time, but the rewards of finding those who truly enhance your college years are well worth the effort. 

Hi!! My name is Sarika and I attend USF!! I love writing about mental health awareness, fashion, relationships, and anything else I find important or interesting!! I hope u enjoy my articles:) <3