Once you’ve settled in on campus and college classes have begun, it’s time to start thinking about your social life. Making new friends and finding your niche in college may seem like a daunting task, but there are many easy ways to meet people on campus and begin paving the way for lifelong friendships.
Here is a list of some of our most useful tips to help you achieve a fulfilling social life that we’ve compiled from a number of our student guide pages and past blog posts.
1. Get involved.
Student life on campus has plenty to offer. If you don’t take advantage of all the clubs and organizations, you only have yourself to blame. Joining campus activities during your first semester of college is a great way to make friends and get involved. Interested in taking part in Greek life? There are plenty of options for that as well.
2. Keep your door open.
During your first semester of college, you want to make as many friends as possible, especially with people living on the same floor as you. And it’s easier than you think. All you have to do is keep your door open, literally! Keeping your dorm room door open is an invitation for people passing by to pop their heads in and introduce themselves. And while sometimes you need a little privacy, there’s no better way to make friends than to appear interested in doing so.
3. Try to get along with your roommate.
It’s simple: getting along with your roommate is absolutely essential to a good social life in college. Think about it — you’re going to be living in a tiny room with this randomly selected person for at least a semester. You don’t have to be best friends, but it’s a good idea to be as friendly, respectful and understanding as possible so that you can hopefully get the same treatment in return.
4. Don’t be plugged into technology 24/7.
It”s probably easier said than done, but there are so many things you could miss from looking down at your cell phone or jamming out to your MP3 player. If you’re lounging on the quad and scrolling through Facebook, there could be a pickup ultimate Frisbee game going on nearby that you could get in on. Or, someone could strike up a conversation with you on your way to class and you wouldn’t even know it.
If you want to be approachable, try to forget your ear buds in your dorm room every once in a while and just enjoy the here and now.
5. Attend exercise classes.
If working out is your thing, try going to a few courses at your school’s gym. Oftentimes college students will attend by themselves, since it’s hard to find friends who have the exact same schedule (and fitness preferences). Taking a Zumba or yoga class is a great way to get to know some of your peers.
Besides, there’s a huge chance that some of your student fees are going to recreational facilities—so you might as well use them!
6. Find a student job.
It may seem a little counter-intuitive, but getting a student job is a great way to boost your social life in college. Student jobs are an opportunity to make new friends, meet new people – and make a little extra spending money to use on seeing a movie, grabbing a bite to eat, or taking a trip with your newfound friends! Many colleges offer on-campus employment opportunities in the dining hall, library and other campus buildings.
Sometimes on-campus jobs are scarce, but if you find competition fierce, don’t despair! If you live in a college town, there are likely to be plenty of nearby off-campus jobs available, including retail, restaurant and coffee shop work.
7. Talk to your classmates.
This one’s definitely a good idea for practical reasons—you have a buddy to get notes from if you need to take a sick day; you have a go-to group member for group projects; and, for the big final, you have a study buddy.
But getting to know a peer in your class is also helpful because it can introduce you to a whole new group of people that you wouldn’t necessarily have known had you kept quiet, not to mention that it may make class a little less boring.
Who knows? A simple question about last night’s reading could get a whole conversation started.
Now it’s your turn! How are you building a social life in college?