1. Be socialEven if you’re usually an introvert, make an effort to reach out to your classmates. Chat them up in the hallways before and after class. An easy way to introduce yourself is to say your name and what you’re studying, so then you can ask them their name and major as well (see, it’s easy!). Once you know the names of your classmates, you can send a friendly wave or “hello” their way when you see them elsewhere on campus. After a while, ask them to hang out — whether it’s to grab lunch, jump in on an intramural soccer game, or have your first study session together.
2. Be interestedWhen talking to new people, avoid one-sided conversations that are all about you. Ask questions and be attentive to what your classmates have to say. You may learn you both have a lot in common. Yet, when choosing a study buddy, you should be open-minded. Just because you and a classmate are very different doesn’t mean you can’t study together. In fact, you may find that person rather complementary to your study style.
3. Be welcomingThe old adage “actions speak louder than words” rings true, especially in regard to meeting new people. Try not to cross your arms, slouch, or avert your eyes when talking to a new classmate. Instead, stand up straight with your arms to your sides and maintain eye contact when speaking to them, which says, “Hey, let’s be friends!”
4. Be attentive in classYou’re not going to be the only freshman looking for a study buddy on the first day of class. If you show you’re serious about doing well in class, your classmates will notice. Pay attention to your professor and be respectful. Don’t take out your phone or get distracted on your laptop. Ask intelligent questions and contribute to classroom conversations. Being involved will help others quickly pinpoint you as a good student and also help them to learn your name. You should seek the same characteristics in potential study buddies. So, also keep aware of who is — and who isn’t — participating in class.
5. Put out a study buddy requestIf you’re a little shy or are just having trouble seeking out a study buddy, putting out a blanket study buddy request may help. If your class has an online email list, consider sending a blanket email. Or, approach a group of your classmates in person and ask if anyone is interested in studying together. Be open to studying with a few different classmates before you pinpoint that “perfect” study buddy. You may even want to consider studying in a larger group of three or four people until you find that one person you work best with.
Erica Cirino is a contributing writer for Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.
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