With Summer coming to the end and the start of a new academic year, a lot of students will face a new chapter of their lives. Fresh-faced graduates arrive on campuses from different parts of the country and even the world – so many strangers to one another are gathered in one place. A lot of them may feel scared when moving to a new place without the support of their parents and without knowing many people.
All these changes can be overwhelming and hard to handle. At least for the first time. But most first-year students are in the same boat as you. Everyone is new to the campus, and everyone is seeking companionship. Even though making friends in general is supposed to be effortless, it can still give people social anxiety. This article will be your guide to making friends in college. Even if it’s your first year, remember, you can do it!
Participating in extracurricular activities on campus is an excellent way to meet new people. Most college campuses have a multitude of clubs and organizations. During your first week in college, look for club postings in places like the student center and library. Identify a few groups that interest you and join them.
For example, if you enjoy movies, consider joining a cinema club. If you have a passion for music, try out for the choir. If you wonder “Who can help me write my essay for me?”, join the literature club.
No matter what your interests are, there is likely to be a dedicated club. By joining these clubs, you’ll meet like-minded people and form a bond based on your shared interests. And even if you don’t make any close friends there, at least you will have familiar faces greeting you with a friendly “hello” as you walk to class in the morning.
It’s pretty obvious – no one is obliged to start a conversation with you, even if people see you’re feeling nervous. Others are likely experiencing similar feelings of anxiety. Therefore, you need to take the initiative to introduce yourself and start a conversation. It may seem impossible at first. But the more you practice this, the less daunting it will seem.
If you feel uncomfortable doing this, remember – that’s completely fine. It’s important to put yourself in uncomfortable situations like starting convos because that’s how you build confidence and develop social skills. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is a valuable learning experience that helps you grow as an individual. And if at the same time, you’re making new friends, it is a win-win, isn’t it?
Remember to stay authentic when making friends. Never say what you think people expect to hear from you just to be liked. Be genuine and not try to be someone you are not. It may be tempting to compare yourself to others, but c’mon, chief, embrace your own uniqueness!
The best friendships are built on honesty and being true to yourself. By being confident and positive about yourself, you will naturally meet people and find your mates.
We already know – it’s okay to feel nervous when it comes to making new friends. However, don’t forget that everyone is in the same boat. Even if someone seems confident and put-together, they’re probably just as uncertain as you are. So, don’t let anyone intimidate you, and don’t be too hard on yourself. You will definitely find your footing and make new friends. It just may take some time.
Your dorm is the perfect place to make new friends. A shared living space provides an ideal environment for socializing. If you share your room with someone – that’s great. You’ll be able to meet all of the people your roommate had become friends with within the first few weeks, and vice versa. But if your roommate doesn’t turn out to be a good friend, don’t worry – your dorm should be full of interesting and unique personalities!
Keep in mind that most of the freshmen are eager to meet new people and make friends. If you get overloaded with assignments from the first day and don’t have much time to socialize, feel free to use essay writing services. You are meant to find new friends during the first few weeks, not to be neck-deep in tasks and assignments. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your lifelong friends somewhere down the hall one day. You’ll never know if you never leave your room, so go for it.
Learn to small talk
Small talk can serve as a starting point for building big friendships. While a lot of people may not like it, still, it’s better than awkward silence between you and the person you’ve just met. You need to have a few conversation-starters in mind that go beyond just talking about the weather. It may be:
- Giving a compliment (great outfit, haircut, yadda-yadda-yadda)
- Asking about an assignment/instructor/campus event
- Asking for TV show recommendations (great way to learn more about someone’s interests!)
- Talking about common studying problems (like annoying teachers or weird schedules)
and many others. The questions should be open-ended because you need to avoid getting one-word answers. Rather than asking “Did you have a good weekend?”, make people give you a detailed answer by asking “What did you do last weekend?”. That’s how conversations are struck up.
We often use our phones as a source of comfort in socially uncomfortable situations. Even unintentionally, we may look at the blank screen or pretend to type something just to avoid social interaction. And even when you feel comfortable and relaxed in the crowd, by texting and scrolling social media we miss out on opportunities to connect with other people.
Constantly relying on our phones in social situations prevents us from making deeper connections. And even though gadgets may be useful in studying, always staring at your phone won’t help you socialize. However, by making a conscious effort to put your phone away, you’ll show your interest and engagement in the surroundings and people around you.
Making new friends in a completely new environment can be intimidating and sort of challenging for everyone. But a bunch of good mates will make your college years brighter and bring a lot of joy into your life. Hopefully, these 6 tips will make your search for friends easier and less disturbing.