Your first year in college is uncomfortable. The good news is: that uncomfortable feeling leads to personal growth!
It is completely normal to experience loneliness in college. For most people, college is the first time they experience being alone. Being alone means freedom, but it is intimidating.
This is the guide to making friends. It will cover 5 ways to make friends, conversation starters, and places to invite new friends. Overall, the only way to make friends is to put yourself out there!
Attend Campus Events (even if that means you are alone)
When first arriving on campus, go through your campus’s calendar of events. Put those dates in your personal planner or calendar. This way, if you are feeling in a rut, you can look ahead to those events.
Do not be afraid to go alone to these events! Other people will be there alone as well.
Sit in Common Spaces
It is comfortable to sit in your room. But, that is not a social environment. If you sit in a common space, it can be easier to begin a conversation with someone. This is especially important to do in your dorm or apartment. It is a good idea to befriend those who live around you.
Join a Club
There are many types of clubs to join in college:
- Political clubs
- Media & publications
- Community service
- Social justice
- Honor societies
- Religious & spiritual
Since there are so many different types of clubs, there will be at least one that will be a fit for you! In those clubs, you will meet people similar to you. Because of that similarity, it makes it easier to begin a conversation with someone. Also, most clubs have a social element to them!
Strike up a Conversation with someone in Class
Class is the reason you are in college! Your classmates can make great friends. You already know you have one thing in common, that class. You might even share a major. Discuss the most recent paper, reading, quiz, or exam.
Ask to work on homework or study with them at the library sometime. Then, your friendship can transition into social events later if you are both interested.
Go to the Gym
Most college campuses have a gym, and many have classes. Look into the gym classes that are provided to you as a student and strike up a conversation with someone around you.
Gym classes that are offered at college gyms are:
Even if classes do not interest you, consider joining a club or intermural sport! If you participated in high school sports, this can be a great way to stay active and meet new people.
Club sports on college campuses typically are:
- Flag football
- Disc Golf
How to Initiate Conversation with a New Person
Those first conversations can be awkward! The best way to continue conversation is by asking questions about themselves.
- Where are you from?
- Which dorm or apartment do you live in?
- What classes are you in this semester?
- Which class is your favorite so far?
- What is your major?
- Why did you choose that major?
- What are your thoughts on the food here?
Places to Invite New Friends
- Your favorite coffee shop to study
- The campus gym
- The local mall
- Sporting event
- On-campus event
- Club meeting of a common interest
- Spend time in a common space
- The library
In the first few weeks and months of college, it is easy to feel lonely and struggle with making friends. But most people are also looking for friends in college because they are in the same position as you! Continue to put yourself out there and be friendly to those around you, and you will make fast friends.