Your four years at university should be the best time of your life. You finally get independence; you can live away from home and create a life of your own.
You’ve longed for the day you leave for college for years – dreaming of all the parties you will go to and great experiences you will have. But, as the time to finally leave draws nearer, you can’t get the fear of making any friends and having a terrible time out of your head.
Well, now there’s no need to worry. Our great guide on how to make friends in college will ensure that you have no problems meeting new people. It will show you how to build a social network and have an amazing time at college you have always dreamed of.
Number 1: Become a “YES!” Person!
It seems like the easiest thing ever, but it really is the most effective way to make friends in any walk of life. You might be starting at a new college or school, moving abroad or starting a new job, it’s easy. Just say “YES!” to anyone who asks you to do anything (I mean, within reason, nothing dangerous!).
When you move to a new place, such as college, you need to meet as many people with as many different interests as possible. This allows you to work out which people you have the most in common with and want to be friends with.
By saying “YES!” to anything that you are asked to do, you are going to meet heaps of people and have heaps of fun, too! Also, by saying “YES!” all the time, you are showing everyone that you are a super fun-loving person who it would be pretty great to hang out with for the next four years! Of course, there will be times that you have to say no or should say no.
You must be careful not to tire yourself out too early on or start skipping lectures to be sociable. However, if, most of the time, you are being sociable and putting yourself out there in new situations, you are going to have NO problems making a LOT of friends!
Number 2: Make the Most of Your Roomie
One of the best things about college in the US is the opportunity to have a roommate. In other countries around the world, such as the UK, students rent their own rooms within larger flats, which can make it a bit lonelier to start off with.
But, with a roommate, you have an instant friend! Now, of course, you don’t want to stick so closely to your roommate that you don’t branch out and meet new people. However, you should make an effort to get to know them and hang out together early on.
If you get on well, you could become great friends for the next four years. It’s also great because if you get to know your roomie straight away, you won’t always have to turn up to events in the first couple of weeks on your own!
Number 3: Join a Fraternity or Sorority
These social organisations often offer membership to students as undergraduates, and it continues for life! Think of it as joining a family. There is a mystery surrounding these organisations due to their secretive nature. But, what we know is that organisations are always single-sex organisations.
They select students to join based on a 2-part process: rushing and pledging. The organisation will own a residence in which undergraduate members can live, and there will be several symbols (badges, sayings, passwords etc.) that link to the society.
As well as helping you to make friends, the organisations also offer parties, philanthropic activities and membership in a lifelong network.
Number 4: Get Involved in a Student Organisation
No matter what your talent or passion is, you are likely to find an organisation filled with other students with the same passion that you can join. US colleges are renowned for organisations that cover:
Academics and Education
If you are a passionate historian, mathematician or have a deep interest in any other subject, join an academic organisation to take part in activities with other students who are as passionate as you!
If you want to take some time out to give back to the community while you are studying, join one of these groups and become a civic activist alongside others who want to make the community better.
Media and Publications
Most colleges tend to have a radio station and newspaper prepared by students for the students. If you want to gain some valid work experience while working as part of a team, be sure to get involved. You’ll instantly make friends with the other students you are working with.
Political & Multicultural Groups
If you have strong political beliefs or a strong passion for politics, join one of these groups and meet like-minded individuals. Likewise, if you are part of an ethnic minority group, you may want to join a multicultural group to meet other students with the same heritage as you.
Sport is always an excellent option for bringing people together. With most sports, you are required to work as part of a team, so that is anywhere between 7 and 20 friends that you have instantly made!
If you practice a religion, you will likely find groups running for people of the same faith to gather together. If religion is a particularly important element of your life, this could be a great way to connect with other religion-focused students.
Most people have a hobby, and most of these will be catered for by the various organisations on offer at US colleges. Whether you like to sing acapella, play chess, code computers, play in an orchestra or go fishing, be sure to check out the organisations early on in your time at college, and pop along to meet other people with the same interests as you.
The only way you aren’t going to make any friends at college is if you hide in your room away from everyone. Colleges are set up to support you to make friends; from sharing a dorm room to having a wealth of organisations to join. Be sure to put yourself out there, meet new people and, most importantly, say “YES!”.