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 compiled from a number of our student guide pages and past blog posts to help you achieve a fulfilling social life at college.
1. Get involved.
Student life on campus has plenty to offer. From intramural sports and clubs to musicals and the school newspaper, there are tons of different activities you can get involved in, whatever your interests are. Stop by your school’s student center or attend an activities fair to discover everything your college has to offer. And then, start signing up!
Joining campus activities during your first semester of college is a great way to make friends and get involved.
2. Keep your door open.
One of the best places to meet new people is your college dorm. Chances are, there are tons of other freshman and students on your floor looking to make friends just like you!
But how do you do this?
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.
Plus, you never know! Your college roommate may just end up being a lifelong friend.
4. Don’t be plugged into technology 24/7.
It”s probably easier said than done, but there are so many things you risk missing out on when you’re constantly looking down at your phone or popping on your headphones.
When you’re lounging on the quad listening to a podcast, you alienate other students who might want you to join in on a pickup Frisbee game. Or, if you spend the time before class scrolling through your Instagram feed, fellow classmates might similarly ignore you instead of starting up a conversation.
If you want to be approachable, try to leave your earbuds 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 taking a few of the classes offered at your school’s gym.
Oftentimes college students attend these classes 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 a portion of your student fees are going to recreational facilities—so you might as well take advantage of 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 those same 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, too including retail, restaurants, 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.