One of my biggest worries as an incoming college freshman was whether or not I was going to make friends. I had the most of the same friends for most of my life. When I entered high school, I gained even more friendships, but I never had to start from scratch. Until I moved away to college. My closest friends all went to different schools, hours away from mine, or were still in high school. Needless to say, I was STRESSED. I had never been in a situation like this before and was nervous I would end up lonely and homesick. However, after one year of college under my belt, I can gladly say that things worked out! I am so thankful for all the friendships that I made my freshman year and am so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone. So, I’m here to put your mind at ease and share how I made finding friends a little easier!
Most People are in the Same Boat
If you are nervous about meeting people in college, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! They may not express it, but the vast majority of your peers have the same concerns. It is nerve wracking, for everyone, to go from high school where you knew the name of every kid in your class to college where you may not know more than ten people in your town! But this is good! Since everyone is in the same boat, you’ll be surrounded by lots of people who are also looking for new friends. Freshman year is a really unique time because most people are actively searching for new friendships and don’t have set friend groups. People are more eager to invite and accept invitations to hang out or try new things. Because of this, it’s easier to find at least one person you click with.
Know the People You Live With
One of the first places you’ll meet new people is your residence hall. Usually, dorm staff and RAs will hold a get to know you event. Take advantage of this opportunity to get to know who lives on your hall or in your building. These are people that you will likely see everyday and it helps to know their name and be able to say hi. Especially at the beginning of the year, your hallmates are people you can ask to go to the dining hall, new student events, or the library.
I actually met some of my closest friends on move-in day! Our dorm was throwing a dinner and my roommate and I struck up a conversation with a group of girls behind us in line. It turned out that they lived just down the hall from us. We invited them to hang out in our dorm afterwards and we’ve all been friends ever since! They were my go-to people for dinner plans, study dates and spontaneous hang outs. It was really nice to have friends just a few doors away that I got to see all the time!
But Find Friends Who Don’t Live with You
It’s great to be friends with the people that live with you. But, it’s also a good idea to find some friends that don’t. Tons of college students trying to cohabitate and share communal living spaces can get frustrating. There are going to be times when you don’t want anything to do with your hallmates. That’s okay! When this happens, it helps to have other friends you can hang out with.
Join an Organization
One of the best ways to meet friends is to join an organization. Colleges have hundreds of clubs, groups and teams that you can join. There is everything from sports clubs to pre-professional organizations to student government. There is even eight different types of dance clubs at my university. Usually, these organizations will set up tables at a student activities fair. Look around for clubs that interest you and talk to their representatives. Sign up to get more information about ones you like and attend the first meeting to see if its a good fit. Once you join an organization, be involved! Going to meetings and events is a great opportunity to meet people who have shared interests.
I ended up joining American Medical Student Association my first semester and a sorority my second semester. I made some amazing friends through these two organizations and love having different friend groups who all like to talk about and do different things!
You Won’t Click with Everyone
Unfortunately, not everyone you meet will become your friend. There will be people who aren’t looking for friends or just don’t realize how awesome you are! Don’t get caught up on that! Trying to force friendship will only end up with hurt feelings. Just focus on developing relationships with genuine people who like you for who you are. Don’t worry, there are so many incredible people out there for you to be friends with.
It’s Okay to Miss Your Hometown Friends
Finding friends at college is important, but that doesn’t mean that you are replacing your hometown friends. It is totally normal to get homesick or worry about losing touch with your friends. However, friendships can withstand long distance and busy schedules! The key is effort. Make sure to consistently reach out to your friends and see them when you’re in town. Road trips to see friends at other college towns are super fun! It is also important to remember to be understanding. Everyone is busy and meeting new people in college. Your friends are most likely going to be making new friends at their schools and it helps to know that just as you are not replacing them, they are not replacing you. You just have to navigate a new stage in your friendship!
Hopefully this post helped ease your nerves and gave you some useful tips for finding friends in college! Let me know in the comments about your experience making friends and any awesome people you have met!!