Heading off to college is like an adventure, but one that you’re doing alone. You could be leaving home for the first time and exploring a new city, or you could be attending college in your hometown. Either way, going to college is an exciting new chapter in your life and a perfect opportunity to make friends in college. Just think about bonding over never-ending study sessions, sleep deprivation, and trying to maintain a social life, while aiming for a 4.0 GPA.
Obviously, getting to that point can be a little terrifying, especially if you’re an introvert. But don’t panic, below are eight tips to help you start making friends in college, whether your classes are in-person or virtual.
1. Attend org information sessions
Your college experience is what you make it! So, if you find yourself constantly being by yourself or stuck in your dorm, maybe you’re not putting yourself out there. Your campus will have plenty of clubs that reflect your values or interests, but you’d never know if you miss out on interest meetings. Step outside of your comfort zone and join an organization that resonates with you. If you like journalism, join the school newspaper. If you play an instrument, try out for the marching band. You may end up doing something you really enjoy while forming a bond with people that have the same interests.
2. Use social media
Depending on your school, your campus may have authorized social media pages for different classes. Usually, students take this task upon themselves and make Instagram or Twitter profiles for their freshman class. You can also utilize LinkedIn by searching your school. When you do this you’ll be able to see who currently attends your college and who graduated. In addition to this, don’t forget about engaging on TikTok. This is a great way to recognize new faces around campus and truly see who people are outside of class. If you happen to see someone from social media, introduce yourself. Don’t be shy!
3. Join a sorority or fraternity
Instead of making friends in college, you might be able to gain brothers or sisters. Sororities and fraternities are another way to make connections on campus, with other people besides freshmen. You may have a chance to interact with alumni and upperclassmen as well. Also, Greek life can be great for building your resume, volunteering, and learning new skills. Before you attend a rush, it’s important to do your research to find which organization best suits you.
4. Take advantage of your dorm
If your school allows you to live on campus, your chance to make friends in college is right outside your door. Now, I’m not saying knock on a random person’s door, but dorms typically have common areas to study and gather for events. If you’re an RA (resident assistant) think of fun ideas that your residents will find engaging. For example, consider having a door decorating contest for Valentine’s Day. This will cause people to spend a little time in the hallways and see who their floormates are.
5. Consider work-study
Work-study is usually granted to people first-come, first-serve. So, if you want to earn money on-campus, waste no time applying. Aside from a consistent income, you may meet new friends while tutoring, working at the fitness center, or in a library. Not sure if your school has a work-study program? Stop by your campus’s financial aid office to determine if this option is available.
6. Ask to sit with someone for lunch (or dinner)
Food can bring people together. Even though, it may sound intimidating to ask someone if you can sit with them, give it a try anyway. Odds are they will probably enjoy your company and might even ask you to hang out at an event or introduce you to their friends.
7. Create a group chat for your study group
If you’re attending college virtually, or have hybrid classes, no worries! A simple way to connect with your classmates is by forming a study group. We all had that one class that was extremely hard to pass. So, consider taking the initiative to reach out to other students and see who’s willing to help. Sure, you may not be right next to each other in class, but you can still bond over essays that you all procrastinated on as well as stressful exams. You might be able to get a few answers if you’re lucky!
8. Always be yourself
Being in a completely different environment may tempt you to change your personality or style. Don’t! Wherever you attend college, you’re bound to find people who share similar interests as you. So, there’s no need to change your personality. Whether you’re outgoing or not, people will attract to you if you’re being your authentic self. After all, who would wants to be friends with someone who’s an imposter?