By Katie Llewellyn
In every new season of life, friendships can shift as people head off in different directions. For some, the idea of having to make all new friends can be overwhelming. For others, this fresh start is a welcome one.
In college you will be surrounded by hundreds (if not thousands) of people you have never met before, and chances are that many of them are also wondering how in the world they can connect with their new classmates.
This can feel daunting, but it’s not impossible! Here are some helpful tips on how to meet people and cultivate new friendships during your time in college.
Start on your first day
The easiest time to make friends? The beginning of the semester.
Everyone is feeling “new” and this is the perfect time to start up relationships with your peers. Introduce yourself in the first few days of class and see who you seem to “click” with.
Need more good news? Many college sophomores say it was in their sophomore year that more meaningful connections took root. Lay the groundwork early on, and you could be pleasantly surprised by the friendships you enjoy later down the road.
The best way to meet new people is to be around new people. Attend campus events and organizations, spend time in the library or coffee shop, or start an online study group. Putting yourself in new situations or attending events that interest you are great ways to find fellow students who like the same things that you do.
Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Potential friends will be much more likely to talk with you if you are kind and interested in getting to know them. Smile at people. Start up a conversation. Say hello to your classmates. Comment on your classmates’ discussion board posts in Blackboard to introduce yourself. It may seem basic but being friendly is the best way to make friends!
Even the most outgoing of students may feel a bit of trepidation when it comes to introducing themselves or inviting a classmate to coffee or a study group, taking the first step creates opportunities to build relationships. While you can’t force friendship, you can certainly work to seek it out and cultivate it.