The start of your freshman year of college is right around the corner. Bags packed? Goodbyes said? All that is left is for you to figure out how to make new friends on campus.
Making friends is an issue that everyone faces, so you aren’t in it alone, but a few DIY tips couldn’t hurt, right? Read on for insight into how to find and maintain some lasting (and quality!) college friendships.
Freshman year fears
Let’s be honest, you probably have a lot of things you are nervous or worried about when it comes to leaving home for your freshman year of college, but how to make new friends is probably in the top five. No matter how popular you were (or weren’t) in high school, odds are all of your buds aren’t heading to the same university as you.
“8 things First-Year Students Fear About College” by Mary Kay Shanley and Julia Johnston for education.com, updated on April 30, 2014, shared some things to remember:
- Orientation may be a pain, but do it because you may make a friend
- Fraternities or sororities aren’t the only path to making friends
- “New friends in the fall may not be the same friends you hang with in the spring,” Shanley and Johnston wrote.
Move beyond your hall
You’ve had a couple of weeks to settle in, maybe you and your roommate have really bonded, but hopefully you have at least figured out how to coexist. You have probably also made some connections in your hall or in class and feel like you are getting the hang of finding new friends. But are these going to be life-long friends?
If you are satisfied with this group of friends and feel that they “get” you then you may not need any further DIY tips. But if you are finding some of these initial relationships a bit shallow, it might be time to broaden your freshman year search for new friends. “College Life: Freshman Friends” by Marie Hartwell-Walker for psychcentral.com offered some suggestions:
- Think beyond your hall. Sure it is convenient to just walk across the hall to hang. But if you know a group with similar interests that congregate in a certain place, go there—even if it’s a hassle.
- Talk to classmates studying what you love. If you are a math geek or can’t get enough of feminist poetry, then reach out to someone in that class. If you both share that passion, you probably have other things in common, too.
- Join a club. A group that reflects your interests or values will likely have some people who share other interests with you, and voilà! It’s the start of a beautiful friendship.
- “Be willing to take the risk and initiate. Invite people to go with you to campus lectures, concerts, or games you want to attend,” Hartwell-Walker wrote.
- Accept invitations you receive. You also have to be willing to take a chance when someone invites you.
Finding friends, a final note
How to make new friends freshman year of college is a conundrum that all incoming students face. Whether you find making friends an easy task or need all the DIY tips you can get, you will make new friends—in your dorm, in a class, through a club or even at orientation. “Collegiettes Weigh In: How I Found My Friends Freshman Year” by Jessica Salerno posted July 8, 2013, on hercampus.com wrote, “A little advice is great, but a lot (and I’m sure you’re getting a lot) can be overwhelming. Don’t worry … you can make friends literally anywhere on a college campus.”
Have you thought about how you will fit in and make friends your freshman year? Are you a freshman-year survivor with some DIY advice on making friends? Let us know in the comments.