How To Make New Friends In College

For over a decade you’ve gone to school with the same kids year after year, meaning you’ve probably hung out with the same group of friends that whole time too. Friends you make from elementary through high school are great because you become close from bonding over a lot of “firsts” experiences. And unless all of you decide to attend the same college, you’ll most likely lose contact with many of those friends. Luckily, meeting new people is one of the easiest and most rewarding parts of the college experience.

That first week living in the dorm as a freshman is intimidating—it’s scary not knowing anyone or where anything is! But here’s one thing to remember: everyone else is in the same boat as you. Whenever you’re walking down the halls and you see a bedroom door open, stop by and say hi! Since everyone is new to each other, it doesn’t seem weird to randomly introduce yourself or have others stop by your room if your door is open.

Keep that same open mindset when attending class, working in group projects, joining a sport or Greek life, or when you meet people through other friends; these are all opportunities to hit it off with people because they’re likely interested in something you are too.

Many freshman make the mistake of going home every weekend. At first it’s tough to separate from your good friends, but know there are always ways to keep in contact without physically seeing each other all the time (Skype, anyone?). The weekend is the perfect time to bond with people outside of class, so how do you expect to do that if you’re always home? Another mistake is hanging out with only high school friends that go to the same school now. Sticking like glue to these friends will only make it even harder to meet new people. Force yourself outside of your comfort zone and make that extra effort to find friends. You might be amazed at what you learn about yourself.

Meeting new people means picking up new hobbies or interests. Seeing what others do often sparks inspiration in your own self to do something different. You might fall in love with a new band, food or sport that you would have never been exposed to, had you not started hanging out with this new group of people. College is a time for reinventing and finding yourself, and divulging in new activities might help you discover a talent you never knew you acquired.

Now I’m not saying to drop all connections with high school friends—it’s important to stay close with a handful you see being your friends for a long time. But the people you meet in college will most likely be the friends you hold on to for the rest of your life. You live with them, eat all your meals together, and probably spend any other free time hanging out—it’s amazing how close you can feel to someone after only a week or two.

So when you start your college experience, ignore that initial apprehension to put your face in your phone as soon as you see someone you don’t know. Instead, do the exact opposite by putting your phone in your pocket and using those free hands to wave. A simple gesture, yes, but it’s little things like saying hi and waving that make approaching easier. Who knows, that quick wave could lead to your roommate next year…or the best man in your wedding (many years down the road, of course).

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Jordyn Timpson

Jordyn Timpson

Jordyn Timpson is a junior at Michigan State University working towards her journalism degree with a specialization in documentary film. She designs and writes for a campus magazine and is a server at Bob Evans. When Jordyn has free time she likes to watch movies and her favorite show Breaking Bad, spend hours on tumblr, go on adventures with friends and travel.
Jordyn Timpson

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