How to Make A Lot of Friends in College

College is primarily an academic institution. If you ask my parents, the main reason anyone should go to college is to learn. To an extent, they’re correct. You can probably go from your first day of freshman year to your graduation without talking to anyone and you will be no worse for wear. In fact, you’ll probably have incredible grades!

Of course, barely anyone does this. After all, you’re surrounded by thousands of people your age. You’ll never encounter this many people at your age until you end up in a retirement home. In addition, some communication researchers theorize that humans are fundamentally social animals with an innate desire to reach out and talk to people.

So how do you make a lot of friends in college? It can be difficult if you don’t know what to do. However, if you try any of these four things, you’ll more likely meet your new best friend.

  • Join a Campus Group / Get a Job

Obviously, a fraternity or sorority is one of the best places you can join if you want to meet people. I’ve heard of transfer students swarming to join Greek organizations simply because it’s an easy way to meet a lot of people on campus. However, after spending an evening with her new coworkers, one of my friends remarked that every group on campus is like a mini-fraternity anyway.

I agree with this statement. Even if you can’t get into a fraternity or a sorority, you can easily meet people by joining one of your campus’s many groups or by getting a job. Being in the same group as someone is an immediate ice-breaker since it expresses a common interest or shows that you’re in the same situation. Just about everyone I’ve met at UC Davis was through the campus newspaper or the campus radio station. I highly recommend this method because it’s really easy to become good friends with people this way, and it works even if you’re shy.

  • Dormitories and Roommates

I can’t vouch for this personally – I’ve never lived in a dorm – but my former roommates all met each other since they lived in the same dorm during freshman year. In my opinion, dorms are a very good place to meet people for a few reasons.

First, most of the people in the dorm are in the same boat as you (living away from home in a place where they don’t know a lot of people) and are thus more willing to meet people. Also, if you’re a freshman, most of the other students in the dorm will be at school as long as you, so you have a lot of time to bond with them. Your school may also pair students from certain majors together and host shindigs in order to encourage socializing.

  • Just Talk To Someone!

This is so obvious I feel like I’m insulting you by mentioning this, but if you want to meet people…talk! There are a lot of ways to make incidental conversation. You can talk to people sitting next to you in a class. You can sit with some strangers in the dining common. You can talk to people as you’re waiting for class to begin or as you’re leaving one. Be agreeable.

This one strikes me as challenging because it can be easy to come across as weird, but it can work. I met a pretty good friend in a community college film class because she just randomly reached out to me. However, this trick is more effective in high school than in college.

College will provide you with loads of opportunities to meet people. As I mentioned previously, you won’t encounter as many people your age again, so if you want to make friends, there is no better time than now.

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John Kesler

John Kesler

John Kesler is a senior studying communication at the University of California, Davis. If he is on campus, he can be found in the basement offices of the newspaper or the radio station. At home, he enjoys listening to whatever music he can, reading whatever books he can, and taking walks wherever he can.
John Kesler

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