When it comes to the college experience, many people are nervous about their future. Many people want to make new friends and meet new people. However, this can be challenging since social anxiety in college is very common.
But, even if you have social anxiety, there are many ways you can get around this to have a social experience in college! You can make plenty of friends and make new and valuable connections. Let’s dive into a few ways to make friends.
Most likely, if you’re living on campus and signed up for a dorm, you were assigned a roommate. Take this chance to try to get to know them instead of treating them as “The roommate.” Especially if this is your first year of college, chances are you’ll be spending a lot of time in your dorm.
Even if it’s just bonding over sharing the same dorm, it’s still a great way to get close with your roommate (or anyone who may be stopping by to visit them). Your new roommate can be a potential new friendship to appreciate!
Of course, the above also applies in other living situations. If you’re renting an apartment off-campus, you can still try to get to know your neighbors who may also be doing the same. Wherever you’re living, you're going to have neighbors that you can try to socialize with to begin the journey to friendship.
Take this chance to make a new friend!
Every university has its list of campus organizations that could be excellent choices for making new friends. There are many choices to go through and consider. Your choice can be a sport, a social cause, a recreational activity, or a career training you wish to gain.
As you attend these clubs, you can meet people that are surprisingly like yourself or enjoy the hobbies and aspirations you have. Through the people you meet at these clubs, you can meet other individuals and expand your friend group. Joining a new campus organization is very important when trying to form new and potentially long-term friendships.
We recommend choosing your campus organizations carefully so you don’t overwhelm yourself with too many responsibilities. It’s normal to want to try out several different clubs to find the best choice for you and it can be the smart choice as you start. However, it’s best to pick only two, maybe three, clubs to avoid unnecessary stress and so you can truly enjoy yourself and devote time to each one.
Along with joining a campus club, you also get the benefit of being able to attend scheduled campus events. These events not only give you the chance to have repeated interactions with the people you’ve met in your organizations but also meet new individuals. Attending campus events is very important in forming new and potentially long-term friendships.
A few campus events that you can likely attend are:
Campus events also give you something to naturally talk about. If you're an introvert, this gives you an edge in starting a conversation. They also have a reception afterward; a bonus event you can attend to have a new chat!
The Internet, such as Facebook, has made it easier to learn about these events in advance. Another way of learning about future events is to take note of posters put up around campus that people want the passersby to notice. Given that many colleges have new events every week, the only problem you’ll have is deciding which one to attend!
If you just started college or you are returning to your classes, chances are that you’re going to be spending most of your week attending class. Most students spend at least a dozen hours each week in class or attending teacher lectures. Believe it or not, this provides you with a great opportunity to make friends.
Many classes prove to work surprisingly well in making friends. Some classes require that the students participate in group projects or labs to learn how to collaborate as a team. While some students may find group projects annoying, you can choose to view this as your chance to work with new people and possibly form a new friend even after the assignment is complete.
You can also try to form a study group during upcoming exams, offering your classmates the chance to learn together for a potentially better grade. Some may not prefer studying as a group while others may take you up on the offer for the sake of learning your assigned material together. This may be hard if you’re socially anxious about approaching strangers, but it’s a method you can try when you’re feeling brave enough.
If you keep an open mind, you can meet new people as you explore your campus. Besides the classroom, you can meet many new people around campus as they go about their college life. Many other students are also trying to adjust to the college lifestyle and even trying to make new friends themselves!
Some ways you can meet new people around campus include:
Another method that will introduce you to new people is to take on a campus job. It doesn't have to be a full-time job, you can do a part-time job to take full advantage of the social opportunities it presents to you.
Besides the professional benefits, campus jobs provide excellent ways of meeting new people. Your job requires you to talk and work with at least one new group of people several days a week for some hours. Seize this opportunity! Force yourself to talk and get to know them on a personal level.
This strategy is even better if it’s a job with a lot of down time, such as a receptionist job. Why not use the extra time to get to know other people who cross paths with you on the job? A job can open many doors for you professionally, but it's best to know they can do the same socially!
While the above tips are ways to get you started, your way of finding new friends in college is up to you. Maybe these tips will work wonders for your social life, but perhaps they won't as you realize another method works better for you. Your socialization tricks are all about what works best to get you out of your shell.
So break out of your shell and step out of your comfort zone! Will yourself to meet new people and make new friendships that you'll cherish in the years to come. Ultimately, it's not about whether or not you "fail" as you try new things. This is about utilizing the chance your life has given you to evolve as a new person.