Making friends in college can be tough for some students. There are so many people with unique interests—it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. If you’ve been struggling to connect with someone, you’re not alone. It takes time! Fortunately, you can get creative with your social life at school by taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves or reaching out to other students who seem friendly.
Need ideas on how to make friends in college? Try these:
1. Attend Free Campus Events
Having fun and meeting lots of people in college doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Schools often host free events that you can check out. Look out for fliers and posters around campus, and check online for a calendar of campus events. Find things that sound interesting to you, and don’t be afraid to go alone.
If you are nervous about showing up to an event by yourself, try inviting your roommate or a friend so you feel more comfortable socializing. It may help if your buddy is someone who has already been making friends on campus. They can introduce you to others while showing you around!
Not all events will be exciting, but getting out there is a good way to make your presence known and take a break from studying in your dorm. And who knows? You may just meet your new best friend.
2. Join a School Club
A surefire way to meet new faces is to join an organization. Colleges have numerous clubs to choose from, so you can pick one or two that align with your interests. For example, if you love photography, consider joining a media production club. Want to challenge yourself and overcome your fear of public speaking? Become a part of an improv club! The options are endless:
- Academic clubs
- Community service organizations
- Religious and spiritual groups
- Recreation and sports
- Theatre arts
- Sororities and fraternities
These clubs and organizations provide access to new networks that could open doors to exciting opportunities—both in your personal and professional life.
3. Socialize with Your Housemates
When you first get to college, make an effort to connect with your housemates. You’ll be sharing a living space with them for a while, so you must get along. Plus, your housemates can help you make friends if they already know people on campus.
Don’t be afraid to expand your social circle when your housemates invite friends over. Ask about their interests, classes, after-school activities, jobs, and families. From there, you can bond over commonalities and plan a time to hang out again.
4. Participate in Sports
Do you have a competitive side? Did you grow up as an athlete? Participating in college sports is an excellent way to meet new people with a shared hobby. And even if you aren’t athletic, you can still think about trying a new sport or getting involved with the cheerleading team.
Fun college sports include:
- Water polo
- And more!
Each university has different sports programs, so find out what your options are and go from there. Some colleges also have intramural leagues where students compete against each other rather than other schools or universities.
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5. Use Facebook Groups
Social media is big these days, and meeting people online has never been easier because of it. Facebook groups present a comfortable and free way to connect with others, especially if you’re introverted. Once you form a strong bond with someone through online communication, it’s easier to become friends in person.
New to Facebook groups? Start by joining a general interest group such as “UC San Diego Class of 2022” or “UC San Diego Undergraduates.” These groups have many people just like you eager to find others to share the college experience with! After joining general groups like these, think about branching out into more niche groups like “San Diego Cars and Coffee” if you’re into cars. Get creative and don’t limit yourself to academic groups. Part of getting a well-rounded college experience is meeting others that share common hobbies and interests outside of the classroom.
6. Create Study Groups with Your Classmates
The classes you take to fulfill your major’s requirements include students from unique backgrounds. Take one for the team and create a study group with them! This is a productive way to get to know others outside of class while getting your study hours in. Study groups offer more than just an opportunity to socialize:
- Bounce ideas off of each other
- Get clarification on lecture material
- Help review each other’s work with fresh eyes
- Work in a team-oriented environment
- Overcome procrastination with accountability
A successful study group requires everyone to have a clear idea of goals and expectations. It’s best if there are six or fewer members. Larger groups are challenging to organize, and you may find people chatting more than studying to break up the monotony.
College Is More Fun with Friends
It may feel daunting to make friends in college at first. But with a little effort and a friendly smile, you’ll be able to connect with people who share similar interests. Join clubs and attend free campus events, or get to know your housemates better. Shy students may find it easier to forge friendships online before meeting in person.
Having good friends is not only better for your social college life. It can also help you succeed in other areas! Accountability partners motivate you to work harder and achieve your goals. At a time when you’ve just moved out of your parent’s house, it can be reassuring to have friends there to help you navigate through tough times or give advice when you need it most.