Your Guide to Making New Friends on Campus
Going to college is a big step for a lot of people because nothing can prepare you for it, especially if you have moved away from home and have no friends coming with you. If that is your situation, do not worry, that was me, and I am doing just fine. I understand that the whole situation is stressful and nerve-wracking enough, but that is why I am here to give you some tips on how to make new friends that will hopefully last a lifetime.
One of the best ways to start is once you find out who your roommate is, get in contact with them, and stay in touch till moving on campus. This could be one of your first friends and can also making living with them a lot easier. He or she will more than likely be who you hang out with while going through freshman orientation week unless you play a sport, then you will probably hang out with the people on your team.
In the first couple of weeks here on campus, stay outside of your dorm and put yourself out there. Go to the student lounge, hang out in the plaza, go to sporting events and talk to people you don’t know. In the servey I conducted I ask ten people where they made most of their new friend here on campus, and seven out of the ten people said they met them in the student lounge. They are just as nervous as you are. You can ask them questions about where they are from or if they play sports. By being out of your dorm, you are giving yourself more time to interact with other students on the campus. The only way you are going to make friends is if you get out of your comfort zone.
The other way to make new friends is by getting involved with clubs and organizations here on campus. When you join a club or an organization, you are getting to be around people that have similar interests as you and that also makes it easier to make friends when you have things in common. Also, if you like to play sports but don’t want to be on the actual team, they offer intermural sports just for fun. All of these are good ways to make friends, get out and get involved in the things this campus has to offer.
Next, if you already have friends that are coming here with you, don’t just cling to those friends just because you don’t want to be in an uncomfortable situation. You are going to be put in awkward positions and pushed out of your comfort zone at some point while you are here. Go ahead and get the anxiety and worry out of the way and do things you wouldn’t normally do, that’s the only way to grow. I know you didn’t come to school here to be the same person and not change and accomplish your goals.
And last, if you are living off-campus and commuting, you might think you don’t need to worry about making friends, but you do. There will be times when you are going to need study partners or someone to hang out with in between your classes. Don’t just come here and get your classes over and not come back to campus, get involved with the clubs, the game nights, the sporting events. Do all of it, live and experience what this University has to offer.
In just these last couple of months, I have made friends and memories that I will not forget. I didn’t like the idea of talking to people I didn’t know or staying out of my room because I always thought about what could go wrong, but now that I see how things have played out, I’m glad that I did. Sometimes you must question yourself and say, “but what if things go right?”