You're at a new school, hoping to make friends that will turn into lifelong connections. So, where should you begin looking? What's the key to finding these future lifelong pals?
Location, location, location!
There are so many great ways to meet friends in college but, the fact of the matter is, you're a lot better of if you start looking in the right spots.
Here are some of the top places you can meet and make friends in college:
Try to be friendly to everyone in your dorm, as it’s the easiest way to make friends. Remember, most of the people there are in the same situation as you and will likely welcome a friendly face.
Introduce yourself to your neighbors when you first move in. There's nothing more awkward than feeling like you know someone but never "officially" meeting them so try to get that out of that way while it's easy.
Keep your dorm room door open when you and your roommate are home (cautiously, of course) or have people over. That way, people will see that you’re open to outsiders and meeting new friends.
No, not in the business sense. If you have at least one friend or acquaintance, chances are the majority of others do, too.
Ask that person to be introduced to anyone they might think you would get along well with and you can offer to do the same for them, perhaps in a group setting.
From there, you can begin to build a network of friends, beginning with just one connection.
There are so many options of what you could join in college! Whatever you chose to join, the most basic goal is to join something with people who have interests in common with you.
Look out for: clubs, groups, sports teams, social or academic sororities or fraternities and religious organizations that seem interesting to you.
You definitely have something in common with people in your classes. Join a study session or, better yet, organize one for yourself and your classmates.
They’ll appreciate the effort and it will be a great way for everyone to learn and get to know one another at the same time.
You’ll definitely meet some great candidates for friendship while volunteering for a good cause. Just choose something you’re passionate about so that it’s something you enjoy, too.
Get a Part-Time Job
If you get a job, you’ll get to make connections with coworkers and get the added bonus of a little extra cash. It’s even more beneficial if your job is on campus so that you’re meeting and working with students.
Try the campus bookstores, convenience shops, the campus newspaper, yearbook or dormitory lobby desks. Anywhere you’ll be able to interact with students is a great start.
Taking electives that require interaction with others, mainly lab-based courses, will allow you to gain course credit, learn something new and meet other students.
Make sure whatever you take aligns with your graduation requirements, though most require some electives. As long as you research beforehand, you’re good to go.
Hang Out in Common Areas
If you’re doing homework that’s not too intense, try working on it in a common area within your dorm, apartment or other common areas on campus.
For instance, when you’re bored, instead of lounging in your room with the door shut, why not invite someone to play a game in a common area?
Go to sports games and other campus events where you’ll be likely to meet other students. Join in on things when invited, like hanging out with new groups of people because even if you don’t think you’ll fit in with them, you never know until you try.
Remember your priorities: you’re really at school to learn. That doesn't mean you can’t have fun with friends also, but there is a balance. Make sure to make wise, safe decisions and try to use good judgment in all situations whether it’s regarding partying too hard, getting to know someone new or time management.
At the end of the day, no matter where you are, the best way to meet people is being open to it. Try to be approachable, make eye contact and small talk when the opportunity arises. It's important to be yourself and, when in doubt, always smile!
What other places would you suggest?