In my previous post about college orientation, I mentioned that it’s pretty rare for the friends you make during orientation to last once the school year starts! At my high school, I had a solid group of friends that had been together since elementary school, and I hadn’t really had to put effort into making friends for many years. So, when I went to college out of state where I knew no one, I was incredibly nervous about making friends. Being honest, it took me a while to find lasting friends (check out why in my post about mistakes I made freshman year), so I’m writing this post to help all of you be able to find lasting friends much faster.
- Join clubs! This is the number one reason that I have friends in college! By joining clubs that you are passionate about, you can meet other people that enjoy similar things! More importantly than joining the club is actually participating in it. By joining clubs and participating in them, you will start spending lots of time outside of classes with people that are passionate about the same things you are!
- Talk to people in your hall! I always say that you should leave your door open the first few weeks of classes, and now I’m going to say it again! (Honestly if you don’t do it at this point I’m going to take it as a personal offense). By leaving your door open, you will be invited to dinner, social events, and to hang out by your hall mates. Even if your hall mates don’t become your best friends, it’s still great to be friendly with the people around you!
- Don’t always hang out with your roommate! It’s nice to have a built in hang out buddy, but if all you ever do is hang out with your roommate you won’t be able to make new friends (I made this mistake). It’s awesome to be friends with your roomie, but they shouldn’t be your end all be all, because if you have problems with your roomie later on you might be stuck without anyone.
- Talk to people in your classes! Trust me, this one is big. Even if you don’t become friends outside the classroom, you will want to have at least one person in every class that you can contact when you miss a day. Some of my best friends I met in the classroom, especially in classes in my major. Getting to know others in your major is a great way to make friends, because you already have a lot in common, and you will likely have many classes together in the future!
- Be willing to try new things! When someone you just met texts you and asks if you want to play volleyball with some friends, say yes! Even if you’ve never played volleyball! When you say yes to people when they ask to hang out, you are sending a message that you are friendly! After those first few times, they’ll start asking you to go whenever they do something, and you’re in!
- Don’t try to force it! Sometimes you will really want to be with a certain friend group, but you can tell that it just isn’t working. Don’t force relationships with people who you don’t really connect with. Keep looking, because I promise you your people are out there.
Keep in mind that it may take a while for you to truly find a group of people you fit in with. Don’t get discouraged! It may seem like everyone else has a friend group, but there are plenty of others out there who are still looking! It took me until my sophomore year to truly find people who were even close to the friends I had left behind. If you get down, text your best friends from home and remind yourself that you are totally lovable and amazing, and before you know it, you will have a close group of friends. It won’t happen immediately, but it will happen!