College is a whole new experience for most people. It’s the first time we’re ever expected to live on our own.
Naturally, a lot of challenges come with this. Some of them involve making our own schedules, doing our own chores, buying our own groceries, and so forth. Even so, there are other obstacles to overcome.
Among these is the difficulty of managing a social life while also dealing with classes. This is especially true since most of the people you’ll run into in college are strangers. You didn’t go to middle school or high school with them, and you’re probably not from the same town, so a lot of your previous bases for building relationships are gone, but that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless.
Even in unfamiliar situations like these, there are still plenty of ways to make friends. We’ll go into more detail about how to make friends in college below.
The Very Beginning
In some cases, you may just get lucky. Most colleges have some sort of orientation events, and oftentimes you’ll be sorted into a group for them.
Your interactions with your orientation group will be among the first you have in college, and you never can tell how these interactions will turn out. You may just find someone you get along with quite well.
Another place you might want to start is your dorm. Some advice you might want to consider is that you won’t become close friends with your roommate. You’ll need to be civil, but it’s not common that people grow close to their roommate.
However, it is a good idea to get to know everyone in the dorm. During their freshman year, it is common for everybody to be on a semi-friendly basis because these are the people you’ll be interacting with as you get used to your new surroundings.
Go to Class
In college, it’s common for a lot of kids to cut class, simply because they’re not required to actually attend all of their classes anymore. In some courses, as long as the homework is done, the professors don’t require you to attend class.
Go to class anyway, because you may meet some interesting people there. This will only become truer as time passes when you get your general education requirements out of the way and start taking classes in your major or even your minor.
In most of the more specialized classes, people will be there for the same reason you are. They have a genuine interest in what they’re learning. That in and of itself can be the basis for a decent friendship. At the very least, it’s a potential icebreaker.
This may be one possible answer to how to make friends in college.
Parties may not be your thing, and they’re certainly not for everyone, but even introverts, clumsy non-dancers, and teetotalers can find something to do at a party. Take it from someone who was all three of those things.
Oftentimes, there are rooms at parties where people go to just talk, or play games, or watch movies. This can be a great opportunity to get to know people, and in a lot of cases, there will be someone more social than you, someone who recognizes you from somewhere and uses it to start up a conversation.
Another group of people you might want to get to know are the fraternity brothers or sorority sisters who are hosting the party. Fraternities get a bad reputation for hazing, and a few of them have earned it, but some fraternities were founded on the ideal of anti-hazing.
You may find friends there that you didn’t expect. Many of them might surprise you.
Eat on Campus
Pretty much every college campus has some sort of dining hall, and the tables are quite big, so a lot of people can sit at them. The best strategy is to start off eating with people from your dorm.
You already know them, and they may have met friends along the way who you could meet through them. Basically, it’s a nice starting point.
Another good option is to sit with people you share a class with. You may not know them all that well, but most people probably won’t mind, especially in the early days. Human beings are social animals, so everybody’s looking for an excuse to connect in the beginning.
Before long, people will start advertising or recruiting for clubs, and it’s a great idea to look into them. You may find a lot of clubs that seem interesting, and the best advice is to explore anything that piques your interest. Usually, there’s a reason they interest you, and you’ll regret not taking the chance on them.
This may seem obvious, but only go for what you’re into or curious about. Some clubs may be really popular, but you’ll be miserable if you’re not there for the right reasons.
You’ll find some great friends in clubs, and some of the best ones will probably be in a few of the same clubs as you. It’s the same logic as with classes, except that clubs may even be a better place to look.
In class, you will meet people who have the same interests as you and who want the same type of job you do. In clubs, you meet people who share hobbies, religions, or other personal aspects of life.
How to Make Friends in College
There’s no one good answer to this because everyone is different. Even so, there is one piece of advice that will probably apply to everyone. Regardless of who you are, where you come from or where you find yourself, be ready to embrace change.
College is the place where options were meant to be explored. If you’re presented at an opportunity where the only factors holding you back are fear and shyness, do it anyway.
Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about. Be impulsive, be open-minded, be a risktaker. Carpe Diem. That’s how to make friends in college.