The nature of the college environment makes it one of the easiest places to meet new friends. There are hundreds of people, many who are away from home and need company. You will find yourself interacting with people who share common interests with you.
Though the environment is friendly, there are students, especially the new ones, who find it quite a challenge to make friends. This is totally understandable as not everyone is social. If you’re having a hard time making friends at campus, here are a few things that you can try out.
The best thing about university, unlike high school, is that there are a lot more people who will have the same personality and interests as you. So don’t feel the need to be someone different. Always be yourself and show off your personality so that you can attract friends whom you will gel with easily.
Even though you may badly need new friends, down the line it will be useless and even hectic to be friends with people who you can’t be yourself around. It’s much easier to relate with people who make you feel comfortable in your skin, so be yourself.
A lot of school friendships start in the dorm. Here people are going through similar school experiences and are also eager to be friends with someone. Dorms will usually have common areas where people can socialize.
Take advantage of your time in common areas. Smile at your dormmates, be friendly and try and strike up conversations at every available opportunity. A lot of freshmen are probably missing home or are overwhelmed by the new environment. You could easily talk about that with someone you haven’t interacted with before.
You don’t have to befriend everyone in your dorm, but try and talk to someone new every now and then for a chance to build a lasting friendship.
We are living in a world where lives can be summarized in 140 characters. Where everything deserves a hashtag. It’s therefore not surprising that social media is an important tool for making friends.
While social media can be a time waster, there are also various ways to use social media effectively as a student. So get with the times and join groups and platforms that fellow students use.
It’s easy to interact online especially for the shy people. It’s however, important that you don’t just hang out online but make effort to hang out offline with the friends you make. Do stuff together, visit each other’s dorms, join similar clubs, the list is endless!
The best part about being on a campus is that there are so many fun clubs and associations that students can join. Such clubs are not only good for academic excellence and growth, but also for social interactions. You get to try out new things that you might not have thought of doing were you not part of a group.
Since most clubs are specialty clubs, you can choose one that fits your interests and personality. This will make fitting in easier. To find interesting clubs and associations at your campus, check out the university website and join a meeting as soon as possible.
Most clubs actually make it quite easy for members to interact by holding have mixers and ice breaker sessions. So feel free to introduce yourself during such sessions, be friendly and inviting so that members can feel free to reach out after the meeting.
It will also help to be an active member of the clubs that you join. Participate in events, attend meetings regularly and most importantly interact with other members. This will help get used to people and who knows a budding friendship must just come up.
If you can’t find a good club to join at the campus, you can try to join a volunteer program. This can be one on campus or even off campus. There are many ways to volunteer. Try something that fits your skills so that you can enjoy it more. If you’re good in writing, you could join the campus newspaper or radio team.
If you’re not yet sure what skills to offer, you could simply join a good cause and get involved. This is a great way to meet new people and spend your time doing something meaningful and for a good cause. Volunteering also allows you to grow your skills and you can always use this knowledge in a future job.
The best way to make new friends is to go where the people are. In any campus, there will be common areas where students hang out. This could be the dining area, campus coffee shop or restaurant, your dorm common area or even a park within the school.
If you have some free time hang out at these places. Grab a meal at the restaurant and sit with classmates or dormmates. If you have some homework you could do it at the dorm’s common area or a popular coffee shop. This gives you a chance to leave your dorm room and get some human interaction going on.
If you are shy about going outdoors on your own, ask your classmates if you can join them during their free time. If you’d rather spend time in your room, then leave your door open sometimes and invite familiar faces to join you for a game.
Step out of your dorm room after class every now and then and attend social events on and off campus. If you are shy or an introvert, you can feel intimidated to attend a social event on your own. However, if you want to meet new friends you will have to let go of your fear and step out of your comfort zone.
Make it a challenge to attend a new social event at least twice a month so that you can quickly get accustomed to the campus social scene. You will be able to build your social skills and feel more comfortable to interact with people as time goes by.
When invited for events such as dances, sports games, movies among others join in and get to know the people. Remember, if you don’t the crowd you can always leave and do something else. You only need to push yourself to try out new things and see how you like it.
Your college is not the only place to meet friends while you study. Making friends with students from other schools is also great. You don’t need to concentrate on your school stuff only, join in activities being hosted by other universities.
By giving yourself the chance to interact with more than just your schoolmates, you increase your chances of meeting lifetime friends.
If you’re not so busy with school work, you should consider getting a part-time job or even an internship program. A job gives you something to do with your time, earn some extra cash to pay your tuition and most important make connections with workmates.
You can look for a job either on campus or off campus. There are so many benefits of a part-time job for students especially after they finish school. Visit nearby bookstores, convenience shops, offices, malls etc. to see if there are any available job opportunities.
It will be tempting to bury yourself in books all the time just to avoid going out to the strange world. While this may be comforting, it’s detrimental to your efforts of making friends in school. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with concentrating in your school work, but too much of something is bad.
Take some time off your books and make effort to interact with people. It’s possible to make friends in the library but it might take you forever. If you want to make friends your first year of school, then you need to step out of your comfort zone.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind:
- Shyness is not what defines you. Don’t let it hold you back from meeting new people and enjoying campus life. University days are going to be some of the best in your life so don’t let life pass you by. Remember, many other students especially the news ones are also anxious to meet friends so relax and socialize at every opportunity.
- So what if you don’t make friends during fresher’s week? Don’t panic. It is normal not to be able to make friends the first days of school. People take different time to get comfortable in new environment. If you find yourself in a situation where everyone seems to have an easy time interacting, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ll get get there too. Give yourself time.
- You have to step out of your comfort zone. College will be a new environment. There will be lot of things that you’re not used to. Try and push yourself to try out new things. This is the only way to know what you like and to also meet people that you might not have thought of ever talking to.
Making new friends in a new environment, school included, can be tough for most people. However, if you give yourself time and a push to try these tips, then you should have loads of friends in no time!