It can be challenging to make friends in college especially early on, or if you had to move to a different city to go to university. Be that as it may, it can be done if you know what the difficulties are and how to overcome them. In this article, you will learn how to make friends in college and how it can affect your college life.
Making friends in college can be difficult, yes, but it’s also very exciting. College is the time in our lives where we experience so many things for the first time. It’s a time in our lives that is both stressful and a time we’ll cherish forever.
Having friends in a time like college is highly useful and it makes your time so much easier, but more on that later. For now, you need to first acknowledge the difficulties of making friends in college. In doing so, you’ll be able to internalize them better and know how to overcome them in the process.
Difficulties of Making Friends In College
There are a lot of obstacles and reasons why people can’t make friends in college. For one, most college students are incredibly busy and too focused on their studies.
You surely understand that and while there’s nothing wrong with being focused on your studies, you need to find the right balance between focusing in school and allowing yourself to relax, make friends, and have fun.
A college university is a place where people of different personalities collide. Building friendships with people who share your personality and interests may seem tough because of the level of diversity a college campus provides, but it’s not. You will easily find people in college who you can be friends with as much as in bars or malls.
There’s also a level of stress or an overwhelming feeling for someone who goes to a university without knowing anyone there yet. A study has shown that college students who are transfers or have moved to a different city for university are among the students who feel the most stress in college.
Moving to a different city for college
Yes, it’s incredibly overwhelming moving to a different city to study at a university with hundreds, if not thousands of other people you don’t know at all. A lot of Americans know this feeling, and if you do as well, you have to realize that this should encourage you to make more friends instead of discouraging you.
You should feel more obligated to make more friends in college if you’re someone who moved out of your home town. Being the only one on campus who doesn’t know anyone at all can cause heavy loneliness in college.
People who didn’t have to move cities to go to university have the advantage of knowing people in that community beforehand, maybe even still being around their families. You, as someone who had to transfer cities, probably don’t have that privilege. Having your own set of friends can help ease that loneliness.
At first, it may seem incredibly difficult. You feel an overwhelming feeling of sadness. You’ll miss your friends and family at home. You’ll feel homesick. At one point, you may even want to just quit and return home. You need to know that what you’re feeling is completely normal. A lot of people have gone through it as well. If they can push through, so can you. With that in mind, let’s learn how to make friends in college so you can get through your college life so much easier.
How To Make Friends In College
Now, it’s time for you to learn how to make friends in college. The following steps will guide you on your journey to making friends in college, in and out of your campus. Being a college student is very tough, but having friends you can share the hardships with will most definitely make it more bearable.
Making friends in college will bring you a lot of benefits now and in the future. First off, as mentioned here frequently, it will help you breeze through college easier. You’ll have people you can share notes and ideas with, they will be able to answer questions you don’t know the answer to, or at least help you find it. Friends will also make sure you stay sane on your most awful days. They will also be there to celebrate with you on your positive days. If these are things you want for yourself as a college student, read on and learn.
Clubs are perfect ways to hone your craft, make college more fun, and of course, make friends. There are a lot of clubs that you can join in college. Whether you’re into science, art, politics, or media, there’s bound to be a club on your campus that’s perfect for you.
Take the time to review the clubs available at your campus right now. Once you find the one that’s perfect for your interests, join it. There you’ll find people who share your enthusiasm with your interest. A “common ground”, if you will.
There’s no better place to make friendships in a place filled with people who share your interests. That’s already something you can talk about when socializing. Not to mention, joining a club in college will help you master your craft and expand your knowledge. You and the friends you’ll meet will grow together as individuals and in the future, your friendship will be stronger than ever.
Make sure you join a club that is legitimate and is true to its values. Don’t just join a club for the sake of being in one. Join a club that you know will help you grow as a person. Building friendships will most definitely help you grow as a person, but mastering your craft will too. Consider those the two benefits you’ll have when you join a club in college.
Attend campus events
Charity runs, Ted Talks, concerts, art appreciation days, dances, and balls. Those are just some of the many events I had at my university. Yours will undoubtedly have these too along with a few others.
Attending these events will do you well not only as a student but also as a person who’s developing your social skills. These events will draw tons and tons of people, and chances are, a lot of those people will have a lot of things in common with you.
For example, there’s an upcoming Ted Talk that will be held on your campus and the keynote speaker is a well-renowned author. Now you, as someone who’s a professed bookworm, will most likely be excited to attend an event like that. Now, who else would be excited to attend a Ted Talk with a famous author as the speaker? That’s right — other bookworms.
Campus events, like clubs, are perfect opportunities to meet people who share your passion and interest. Participate in the event, and afterward, take the time to socialize with the other attendees. Share your thoughts on the experience, how passionate you are about the topic at hand, and connect with other people who feel the same.
While you’re encouraged to also socialize with people who are not similar to you, we all know it’s easier and beneficial to socialize with those who share your interests. You may go out of your way and try to socialize with people who are different from you later, but for now, let’s focus on making friends with those who stand in your common ground.
Interact in classes and hallways
You can socialize outside the classroom. At clubs, events, even outside campuses, but don’t disregard your opportunity to make friends inside your classrooms.
Now, I’m not saying that you should disrupt your moments of learning by interrupting everyone just to get to know them, I’m saying that when the opportunity presents itself, make friends inside the classroom or even the hallways outside your classroom.
For example, say you have a classmate who speaks something very interesting about the topic that was discussed. You can then go up to them after the class and commend them for their outstanding output. You can say something like “Hey man, I like what you said about the thing” or something along the lines of that.
Even if you do this just once, you will already have built a connection with that person and that person will appreciate your comment, making building a friendship with them in the future much easier.
Group projects are also a great way to make friends in your classes. While group projects can be frustrating, view it with optimistic eyes and acknowledge the opportunity that is presented to you. This will make the project more fun for you and your groupmates.
The point of this is to give you a reputation as someone friendly. This will make others approach you more comfortably. It will also help you develop your social skills. By going up to people and talking to them personally, you’re already portraying the characteristics of a sociable person. Making friends in college will become so much easier for you this way.
If you live in a dorm, take advantage of the dorm life
The “dorm life” can either be really tough or really exciting, depending on your perspective. It’s tough because you’re away from your family and the life you were used to ever since you were born, but it can also be exciting because the possibilities and freedom that’s presented to you are endless. The opportunity to make tons of friends is one of these possibilities.
Your dorm building or house is filled to the brim with people who are just like you. Students who are trying to get through a college. Studying intensely but also finding the time to have fun to make the whole ordeal bearable.
You all relate to each other. Making friends in an environment like this should come very easily. A lot of spontaneous extra-curricular activities also happen frequently in college dorms. All you have to do is participate in one.
Take the time to get to know the people you’re living with and your neighbors. Chances are, you’ll be seeing them a lot in the next few months or even years. You might as well be friends with them. That will make your college life not only easier but also more interesting.
Show your personality
The worst thing that you can do in your college life when you’re trying to make friends is to put on a personality that isn’t yours. You absolutely should not do that. Take what you have, improve upon them, and let them shine. You don’t need to be anyone else to make friends.
If you believe there are certain aspects about you that need to or can be improved, then do that. If you feel like you aren’t kind enough to the people around you, work on your ability to be kind. Speak up more if you feel like you don’t talk enough and you think it will benefit you to speak up more.
Training a trait doesn’t mean not being who you are. It just means you’re going out of your way to improve yourself. The main point of this is, don’t be someone you’re not.
If you push on being someone or acting like someone you’re not, it’s bound to break down eventually. People will see you as a fake and, well, we all know how much college students treat fake people.
Just be yourself, work on a few quirks that you feel like needs to be work on, don’t put on a personality that isn’t yours, and you should be good to go.
Work on your humor
College can be tough. That has been pretty much established. That’s why sources of laughter can be a welcome presence during this time. If you can make someone laugh, that someone will appreciate you greatly.
If you feel like your humor needs a little furnishing, then don’t worry. The funniest comedians in the world weren’t born quipping jokes. They had to work to become who they are now. You can do the same as well.
Speaking of comedians, they can be very good research materials if you’re going out of your way to becoming a funnier person, which you should if you want to make friends in college easier. Look up stand-up comedians on the web and study them as they do their craft.
Watch how stand-up comedians set up jokes and stories. How they interact with their crowd. Their body movements and facial expressions. The clarity of their voices. These are all important aspects if you want to be seen as the “funny one”.
Making people laugh sounds easier than done, but once you do it, it’s a very feeling that’s highly fulfilling. To fill the room with laughter because of something you said can do wonders for your self-esteem as well. That’s another benefit of being a funny person aside from the fact that you’ll gain many friends because of it.
Do your best to be as knowledgeable as you can
College universities are institutions of learning. Therefore, it is a place where you can become knowledgeable. In a place filled with people who are constantly learning, unlearning, and relearning, those who are more knowledgeable are generally more approached and liked.
That’s what you should aspire to be.
I’ve constantly brought up how fun college life can be, but we all know that’s not what college is about. Study hard, do well in your classes, respect your future and others will respect you. Others will want to be your friend!
Of course, making friends shouldn’t be your only motivation for doing well in school, but if you’re keen on making friends in college, you should know that doing well in school also does the job.
Study well for your classes while also maintaining a healthy level of intelligence towards other things. Know about the current events, read about other things, read books! Those things will make you more knowledgeable about many things and will make you an ideal friend to your fellow college students.
Kindness goes a long way
“The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.”
Be kind to everyone you meet and you’ll be a very wanted friend by many. Especially in difficult times like going through college, someone kind is a light that everyone needs. You should be that someone. If you want to make a lot of good friends in college, this is one of the best ways to do it.
Even if others are unkind, be kind. Be that one person who stands out just for being a good person. Believe me, that arrogant character in teen movies who seem to be so liked by his peers will never be liked by people in real life. That only happens in movies and you don’t want to be that character in real life.
Be the good guy. Be the main character in your story. Smile to strangers if you can help it, give out advice to those who need it, be helpful to those who need help, and be a good friend. That’s how you make friends in the real world.
Partying in college is one of the many highlights of being a student at a university. People who are taking the night off just to get away from stress and tons of workload for a while. You surely are familiar with this, and you have to know that it’s one of the best ways to make friends in college.
You’ve probably heard senior students or even young professionals mention parties whenever asked about where they met their current friends. “Oh we met at this party” or “We got introduced at that gathering”.
The energetic atmosphere of parties and gatherings are perfect for building friendships. People are generally more optimistic and friendly in situations like these. Make sure you take advantage of this whenever you’re out at parties.
Respect everyone and everyone will respect you
Respect goes a long way. If you respect everyone, they will be more inclined to respect you as well.
A lot of relationships need to be built on trust and respect. Friendships, all the more. If you want to be friends with people, you need to respect them. You also need to be respectable. If there’s mutual respect between two people, friendship can come very easily.
There are a lot of ways you can show someone you respect them. You can listen to them when they’re telling their stories, you can help them when they need it, you can take them out if they need to unwind. If someone tells you a personal secret, be sure to KEEP THAT SECRET.
You’ll have a so much better time in college if your interaction with everyone is built over respect. You respect them, they respect you. You will be able to befriend anyone anywhere, not just on campus if you keep this in mind.
Build your group of friends
Everything you’ve learned so far can be used here. Consider this your ultimate goal as you make friends in college.
Learn how to build your friendship group and you’ll breeze through college with ease. Life in a university will ultimately become more fun for you too if you’re able to do this.
If this is something you find a little bit difficult to do, don’t worry. I’ll list down the steps of how exactly you can build your friendship group. You’ll go from having no friends at all to having your core group of friends in college.
- Be friendly with everyone you come across. No matter who they are, no matter where you are, be friendly. Greet everyone with a friendly smile.
- If an opportunity for conversation presents itself, then, by all means, make conversation.
- Every time you’re making conversation, assess if you have a lot of things in common with that person. If you do, then that’s good. Take note of that.
- If you’re already a part of a club at this point, consider them on this plan as well.
- Gather people’s contact information as much as possible. Adding them on Facebook or any other social media accounts will do. You’ll need this later on.
- Once you’ve gathered enough contact information, say around 10 – 15 people, contact them after a few days. Ask them out. Find a place you’re comfortable with and gather people there.
- You can say something like “Hey I’m meeting a few people from campus. I think this is something we all need and I think we’ll all get along. Do you want to come with us?”
- At the gathering, make sure you introduce everyone to each other. Mention things they have in common with each other. Take note that the things they have in common are also things they have in common with you. So creating camaraderie among all of you is easier.
Even if just 4 or 6 people out of 15 says yes to this, you’re already on your way to creating your very own group of friends. Do this multiple times. Hang out with the same group of people frequently. Watch how your friendship blossoms from being strangers to being very close friends.
Manage your expectations
It’s most important that you know how to manage your expectations whenever you’re trying out all of these tips. You have to know that not every person you approach will become your friend not everyone who becomes your friend ends up in the long term.
What you simply have to do is to just acknowledge the fact that you won’t succeed every time, but you know you did your best anyway. This is something you can internalize. What matters is WHAT YOU DID.
If you do end up making a friend but they don’t end up staying in your life later on, then it’s okay too. You’ve shared memories and experiences and that should be enough. Think about that and just move on.
Whatever happens, you just have to realize that this is something you’re doing for yourself. You know that having friends in college will make this journey much easier. You know that they may end up being beneficial connections in the future, or better yet, may end up becoming your best friends in the years to come.
Keep being friendly and you’re bound to meet a lot of amazing people in your time as a college student. These people will change your life and make your future situations better.
Making friends in college will help you out greatly. That much has been said. But it will not only help you ease through college better, give you better ideas, give you help outlets, and provide you with fun times. It will also benefit you in the future when you finally become a professional.
The friends you meet now will be your associates in the future. You may be drinking and partying your hearts out today, but in the future, you may be helping each other reshape the world. Or at least, better your lives financially, mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Take note of everything you’ve just read here. Study them and then apply them. Go out there. Socialize, make conversations with people, have fun, and build friendships. You’ll quickly realize how much your life will change once you start making more friends.
If you want to learn more about making friends, I suggest that you read my eBook. It’s probably the best resource on how to make friends because it focuses on what you should do in the real world to have friends. In it, I show you what took me many years to figure out on how to create friendships with amazing people.