Every year, thousands of new college freshman step into their dorm rooms for the first time. Some are locals from down the road while others have traveled across the country or from different continents!
No matter how far away they are traveling, everyone is in a new environment and surrounded by people they have never met. Getting to know strangers comes easily to some, but can be a real challenge for others. Here are three tips to help you make friends quickly once you arrive on campus.
How to Make Friends Quickly in College
1. Keep Your Door Open
When you’re hanging out in your dorm room, keep the door open so everyone who walks down the hall has the opportunity to say ‘hi’. Everyone is looking to make new friends, and this is a great way to let others know that you’re open to talking.
Conversely, if you keep your door closed, these people will walk by without the opportunity to pop in. As an added bonus, giving others the opportunity to approach you will create a high chance of meeting the most social students on your floor!
2. Invite New Acquaintances to Dinner
Inviting people you have just met to dinner is one of the best ways to build relationships early on in freshman year. There is something special about sharing a meal with others, and this still holds true even if it’s in the dining hall.
When you go to dinner, don’t just invite one person to go with you. Bring a group and meet a large number of people at the same time. In addition to spending time with a crowd of folks you enjoy, you will also be responsible for helping your less proactive friends (who didn’t read this article!) get themselves out there!
You wouldn’t know it, but some people will be extremely grateful for the opportunity you gave them to meet a peer group outside their comfort zone. Everyone is a little nervous freshman year, and helping someone break out of their shell has the potential to radically change their social life over the next four years.
3. Join A Campus Organization
This is the default way of meeting new individuals on campus. It can also be an easy way to find groups of people with similar interests to your own.
This option, however, can present a major time commitment that some freshman (unaccustomed to the college workload) will be unable to balance.
Intramural sports will most likely pose a large time commitment. Some teams practice every morning of the week and some meet at odd times on Saturday or Sunday for training. If you are considering this option, think about the time commitment carefully before signing up.
Joining Greek life will also pose a major time commitment, though usually less than an intramural sport. Where you may be required to put in considerable effort, however, is during your first semester as you are initiated into your fraternity or sorority. This ‘pledging’ process can be draining and many students have let their GPA’s sink below the waterline in order to keep up with their chapter’s demands.
Clubs and other campus groups generally will take the least amount of time out of your schedule. Most will have little more than weekly meetings, which don’t represent a heavy commitment, and are very easy to balance alongside classes.
Some campus organizations will provide you with great opportunities that you otherwise wouldn’t get as a college student. Some will volunteer in their local communities, while others will take trips off campus to go hiking, skiing, and camping! These unique experiences are a great way to bond with new friends and a perfect way to forget about any feeling of homesickness that may still be lingering in the back of your mind.