Most people go to college not knowing a single person, and this only adds to the stress of basically having to start your life (career, friends, and otherwise). Most people go to college in a foreign place, away from their friends and parents, and are stressed out with having to balance the stressors of social life, sleep, and a decent education. Trying to survive all of this, and make friends at the same time can be extremely difficult, even for an extroverted and outgoing person; but for an introvert, it is almost impossible. If you are in this situation, try these tips to make your life a little more fun and less stressful.
1. Get out of your dorm!
I understand the desire to sit in your room, relax, and binge watch an embarrassing number of episodes of your favorite Netflix show, trust me. However, the more time you spend outside of your introversion nest, the more likely you are to meet people and make friends. Even just sitting outside and enjoying nature can help you make friends. If you are as terrified as I was of approaching people during my first semester of college, try sitting in a social arena, and make it known that you are friendly and open: don’t drown in your phone screen, make sure you take out your headphones, and smile and anyone that passes; maybe even say hi. Just the smallest amount of effort can change so much when it comes to making friends in college, and once you meet that first person, you will be forever grateful that you left the comfort of your dorm.
2. Look for potential friends in classes
Making friends in classes is much easier than it seems. See that person sitting next to you? They could easily be your friend! You already have something in common, and college makes it very easy to talk to people because it already gives you four solid talking points: Where are you from?, What is your major?, What year are you?, and What do you think of this class/assignment/professor/etc.? With these four questions in your arsenal, you will be on your way to making friends that you can see every week, Even if this does not help you make friends, at the very least, you will know whether you want to sit it the same spot tomorrow.
3. Join clubs
This is crucial. I know that in your first few weeks of school, you are trying to adapt to so much change, but joining clubs early will help you immensely. Most universities will hold club fairs where you can scope out potential clubs and contact/join them. These clubs will put you in groups with people who have interests or talents similar to yours, and will make your college experience that much better. Joining a group will introduce you to tons of people that enjoy the same activities as you, and it can serve as a great platform for making lifelong friends.
4. Go to campus events
I know, the idea of going to a campus event can sound painful for an introvert, but if you aren’t attending events and putting yourself out there, you are standing in your own way of making friends. Even just going to an event for thirty minutes can change everything for your social life. You might meet people and become friends with them in an instant, or maybe you will see them at the next event and gradually become friends with them. However, neither of these things will happen if you just stay home. Do yourself a favor and go to as many campus events as you can early on. Everyone is looking for friends in the beginning of the year, and if you go to events, you are sure to meet some quality people.
5. Keep your door open (literally and metaphorically)
This is a major part of making friends in college. You have to show that you are open to meeting new people, and that you are a kind person. By physically leaving your door open, you are very likely to meet your neighbors and meet friends that you can easily hang out with all the time. Also, by being open to meeting all kinds of people, you can be sure that you will meet some interesting and friend-material students.
6. Be brave!
Acknowledge that you are stepping out of your comfort zone to make friends and reward yourself for it. Also, don’t feel bad if you don’t make friends right away. Know that you are an awesome person and you will eventually make friends that appreciate how great you are. Just keep being you and being brave, and you will definitely find friends soon.
If you are an introvert having trouble making new friends, I hope these tips really help, and I hope that they help make your life a little easier. Good luck out there fellow introverts!