You still have a few months before your new life on campus will start, but it’s good to give this important change in your life some good early thinking-over. Being a new student anywhere is tough, and college is no exception.
While in college I wanted to meet people and find friends and enjoy my time in college. I wanted to learn how many other students got into college through a GED, as I earned mine via online lessons that I followed for my GED test.
I don’t say online learning is bad for you, but it will not help you with your social life. If you have some solid friends right there by your side you have emotional and psychological support. Making those friends, though, can be the tough part. Some people are lucky and able to make friends easily, yet for others, it takes a bit of work.
Although you can make friends anytime, it’s easiest in the first couple weeks of school, before many groups of friends become solid.
The key to making friends is to open up. College students are generally a lot more open to making new friends than high school students, and there’s no need to be afraid of everybody. All you need to do is put yourself out there. Here are a few ways to do just that:
COME ACROSS AS ‘SOCIAL’.
If you power-walk across campus listening to music the whole time and you lock yourself in your dorm the second you get back, you’ll never make any friends. See also this post about “Easy Scholarships.”
You need to make yourself seem available and friendly. Make eye contact, smile. Try to relax your body and act casual. If you’re incredibly tense and huddled up, people will assume you want to be left alone. Just relax.
A surprisingly effective way to meet people on your floor is to leave your dorm room door open when you’re there. You can say hello to people who pass by, and some will inevitably stop to chat for a bit. Also, unplug your MP3 player when you’re walking around. No one is going to talk to you if you’re already occupied. Students who still need to earn a secondary education degree should also take a good look at this post about the best way to get a high school equivalency diploma.
TALK TO PEOPLE.
If you sit next to somebody in class that you don’t know, say something. If you’re next to somebody in the line for the dining hall, make casual conversation.
Coming up with topics is tough, but if you think you can find something. Talk about your professor, or your dorm, where you’re from, what the other person is doing at the time, and so forth. You don’t have to impress anybody, just find anything to comment on to break the ice.
Approaching people can make you pretty nervous, especially if you’re shy, to begin with. Tell yourself that you’ll speak to five different random people each day and try to carry on a conversation with them. This will introduce you to a bunch of new people every week, each of which has the potential to become a good friend.
TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF INITIATIVE.
Don’t expect the other person to take the lead on everything — you need to carry your weight as well. If you’re talking to somebody that seems interesting, ask if he or she wants to hang out or something. See also this article about inspirational innovation.
Don’t be too forward or anything, but find a comfortable balance between being completely passive and being assertive. If you and the people you’re talking to have a strong rapport going on, try to keep it going.
Joining clubs for your hobbies and playing for intramural sports teams are great ways to meet people with similar interests. If your dorm puts on regular events, go to a few. Sure, they’re usually kind of lame, but that’s what they’re there for: to help you meet people. Especially in the beginning of the year, where most people have nothing better to do.
DON’T GET DISCOURAGED.
Some people find their college friends right away, others take a little while to settle into a comfortable group. If the people you’re meeting don’t quite mesh with you, that’s okay. You’ll find ones that do if you keep at it or get to know others better. It took me about three months to find people I clicked well with, and it took others the whole year.
Don’t give up, and you’ll eventually have a solid group of college friends!