Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, making friends while you’re at college is crucial. You may be scared about making friends or looking for ways to not make it awkward or wondering how to do it. Let me tell you, it’s not as hard or complicated as it seems. I’m here to let you know that there are so many ways to meet people. With college, you can meet people in a variety of places– not just class– which gives you a lot more opportunities + a lot more friends.
As an introvert, I really had to learn to meet people, start conversations + introduce myself… but now I’ve gotten the hang of it for the most part– and you can too! I’m so excited to share with you the things I learned + the things that helped me the most in making friends at school. Some of these ideas may be a bit obvious, but there are many most people wouldn’t normally tell you.
-go to events
The best way by far to meet people is by going to the events that your school puts on. It may be awkward. You may not want to go out. But the purpose of those events is so you can meet people. Please don’t stay in your dorm all day. Please don’t stick with your small group of friends. Be the one to encourage your friends to go out + do stuff.
*If you take away anything from this post, please go to the events your school offers! Actually participate at them + get involved– you will benefit so much from it!
-meet your neighbors
If your dorm doesn’t have events or get together, at the beginning of the year, make sure to meet all the people around you. Just knock around + see who’s available + introduce yourself. Not only could you make new friends + see super cute dorms, but you’ll probably see these people a lot whether it’s at events or just walking by.
This is how I met one of my friends. She visited my dorm while I was moving in + introduced herself. Little did I know that she was the same major as me + she lived below me. This single interaction would turn into plenty of movie nights + other fun times.
-talk to the people you sit next to
If you’re in class, at an event, studying, at a meeting, in a line… wherever you can think of, introduce yourself to the people next to you or start a conversation with small talk. You don’t have to hit it off right away or think they’ll be a close friend or even get each other’s numbers, but it is a friendly thing to do + could turn into something bigger.
-spend time with your room mates
I know this isn’t the case for me, but some people are not close with their room mates/ suite mates. Those people are literally your built in friends! I understand if things may not click or if you have different schedules (trust me, I know what that’s like), but try your very hardest to befriend them.
Have a movie night or figure out something they enjoy to do + do it. You may have to reach out to them, but it is worth having a good relationship with your roommates/ suite mates. Plus, if you’re friends with your room mates, it makes planning activities + doing spontaneous events so much easier.
-join a club + actually participate
I know clubs kinda sound like something you do in high school, but it is still pretty popular in college. Find what interests you, something that goes with your hobbies or major, or even just something that looks fun + join. You can meet a lot of like-minded people at meetings + events– plus, you’ll get involved in your school.
I know at least for the clubs at my school, they do a great job at having events to help you meet people + its pretty easy to talk to people + make friends. So please don’t go in with the though that college clubs are the same as high school ones!
-hang out in public areas
Don’t stay in your room all day every day. Don’t do all your socializing from your dorm. Don’t do all your homework from your dorm (unless you have to). Go outside of your room + hang out in public places. This could mean doing your homework in the library or coffee shop, having a game night in a public area or eating lunch outside.
Not only may you run into people you know (which would strengthen that friendship), but it could open the possibility of meeting other people… or at least interacting with other people. They may want to join you in a game or strike up a conversation with you or want to eat with you. You never know what could happen, but being available by being in public spaces (instead of being closed off in your dorm) will help.
-introduce yourself to people you recognize
If you see someone from one of your classes or from a meeting or club, try to build on that interaction + get to know them. Saying something like, ‘hey, I think your in my math class’ or ‘hey, I think I sit behind you in chemistry’ is a great conversation starter. If you know you’ll see them again, why not introduce yourself? They may be able to help you in a class or give you a connection you need or they may end up being a group partner.
-meet your friend’s friends
I know there can be lots of cliques + separate friend groups in college, but one of my favorite things about my friends is that we’re pretty much all friends. It’s not like we claim each other or stick to only a certain amount of people. Often times we’re introducing others to the friends we’ve met + growing our friend circle.
Although there are definitely people who are closer (+ more distant) with each other + there groups of people who hang out together more often, always be open to meeting new people that you’re friends bring along + allow your friendship circles to be fluid. Trust me, the overlap is not awkward. Plus, if they’re close with your friends then they probably have similar interests or are like-minded.
*I’m not saying you have to have all the same friends as your room mate (or anyone else)– please don’t, you need your own friends + can’t hang out with your roommate constantly– but having lots of the same friends is so much fun + brings less challenges.
As for myself, I do not compliment people a lot of times, but I am learning to make it a habit. If you like something that someone is wearing or something about their appearance stands out to you, let them know. It is such a easy conversation starter + can help you meet people.
For instance, if someone you see is wearing a band tee of one of your favorite bands, let them know. You may be able to bond over that band, find more common interests and create a friendship. It is so neat what what conversation could lead to. Or if anything, it just reveals that you’re a nice person.
Hopefully from these 9 ideas you can meet more people + possibly even close friends. I know making friends is not always the easiest thing, but trust me, you can do it + become a master at it.
Meeting people + making friends is a skill you use your entire life, but especially in college + when you move. Having these ideas in your back pocket can change your relationships + bring about opportunities.
If there’s an idea that really stood out to you or something that I forgot, be sure to comment it down below!
Until next time!
For more of my posts on friendship, check out: When Friendships Change Because of College…