Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Making Friends on Campus for Dummies: A Step by Step Guide

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 UWindsor chapter.

 Everyone’s  had the universal experience where you hear your parents or aunts or uncles tell you that “university is where you make lifelong friends”. Hearing that sentence the first time made me unbelievably anxious, and hearing it for the fortieth time continues to instill that same feeling. “Life long friends”, they said. So not only am I attempting to find people to walk to class with so that I look cool, but now I’m supposed to find people that my future kids will call “cool aunt/uncle ___”…Great. That extra layer of pressure makes it feel almost as, if not more important than getting my degree. 

My favourite part about that “lifelong friends” expression is that it clearly states an end goal, with absolutely zero guidance as to how to achieve it. So off I go into my first week back to school walking to class…Alone. Let me tell you, walking to class alone is the most humbling experience ever. Trust me, I’ve pulled every trick in the book to avoid looking lonely. Fake phone call? Yup. Airpods in my ears? Yup. Answering texts on my phone (telling my mother I made it to school safely, of course). Yup. And according to TikTok comment sections, this seems to be a shared experience across the board. Lucky  for me, I eventually found  an amazing group of friends in my program who I not only walk to class with but also hang out with outside of school/studying. Let me share how I managed to pull a 180 in my social life (no gatekeeping here). 

First step:  if you’re an extrovert, go adopt an introvert. If you’re an introvert, don’t worry, the extroverts are like bloodhounds and will find you (in the least creepy way possible). Hopefully you paid attention in grade 6 science when learning about symbiotic relationships, because that is exactly what you’ll be doing with your polar opposite counterpart. As an extrovert I know first-hand that hanging out with someone who’s shy makes you feel  a sense of duty where you need to put yourself out there for the both of you. To my introverts: don’t worry about having to step out of your comfort zone; the extrovert has that covered. Just be there for moral support (trust me, we need it).

Second step:  develop a routine. Are you one of those people who knows your favourite Starbucks barista by name? Yeah, that happened because you are always at Starbucks the same time each week,  which coincides with your barista’s shifts. You can apply that exact same logic when it comes to making friends on campus. When you start to see someone in the same place all the time, you’ll eventually begin to familiarise yourself with them and –  best case scenario –  become friends.

Next step: be relatable. Have you ever sat in class and looked around mid-lecture, only to see everyone looking like lost puppies? That’s your perfect opportunity to be relatable. Whisper to the person next to you and ask if they understand what the professor just taught. If they’re also lost, you’ll bond over the shared experience and most likely get a good laugh out of it. And if they actually understand, then bonus points, because now you not only have a friend, but you also now have someone who can explain the course content to you. You’ll start with little side comments, then move on to small talk before and after class, then most likely exchange numbers so you can work on class work together. If the dynamic is favourable, then BAM. You’re besties!

Although this isn’t a foolproof wikihow on how to make friends, it’s just what worked for me and will hopefully work for you. Just remember, at the end of the day there will always be a next chapter in your life, so if you don’t find your forever friends in this one, you always have the next one.

Liz Case

UWindsor '25

Liz Case is a writer at the University of Windsor Her Campus chapter. She writes and publishes articles on a weekly basis to the site. Her articles tend to cover diverse topics usually pertaining to her own life experiences or current events. She is currently in third year at the University of Windsor pursuing her Bachelors of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering with a Minor in Business Administration. When she isn’t writing for Her Campus or studying, she works as a Dance Teacher at a local dance studio. She is also a member of other university organizations including the Lancers Competitive Dance Company as well as a member of the FSA (Filipino Student Association). In her free time she likes to play various instruments as well as whatever hobby is of current interest. This of course includes regular young adult activities such as working out and hanging out with friends.