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How can I Make Friends in College?

By Lauren Romano
Updated May 17, 2024
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Heading off to college for the first time can be a bit intimidating. Whether you are a commuter or you live on campus, you will be surrounded by many unfamiliar faces. The friendships you form during this time are an important part of the experience and can be quite influential on the rest of your life. You may think that it’s difficult to make friends in college, especially if you’re shy, but with a little effort it can be quite easy.

One way to make friends in college is to get to class early. Not all students show up late or right on time. When you arrive a bit early, you get the opportunity to socialize with other students that are in the room with you before the class starts.

Spend some time in the cafeteria. This is a great way to make friends in college, especially in the beginning of the school year. You can start a conversation with someone else that is sitting alone, run into those that you have become acquainted with through your classes and casually chat up someone on the food line.

Be willing to give up some of your free time in order to make friends in college. There are going to be some spur of the moment dinner runs, visits to dorm rooms, study sessions for a class and parties on a Saturday night. A potential friend wants to be able to spend time with you to develop a friendship, and not get shot down every time they make an offer for plans. However, you shouldn’t skip classes or give up your study time for plans, which is something a friend will understand.

Attend some of the college sponsored events. Whether it is family day, orientation, a football game, or a freshman party, these are great opportunities to make friends in college. Your school’s website should have information on these events.

Offer your help to someone that needs it. If you find that you’re great in a certain class and an acquaintance tells you that they’re struggling, propose studying together after class in a public area. There is a chance that they may run into people that they know and introduce you. You get the opportunity to make new friends in college and do a good deed in the process.

Get away from your dorm room for awhile when you need to study. Go to the lounge area of your dorm, the library, or a spot outside on campus where you can get some work done, but be chatted up by another person that is interested in talking with you.

If you want to make friends in college, be yourself and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Embrace your chance to meet new people and form friendships that could last a lifetime.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By SauteePan — On Sep 11, 2010

Latte31-Some college students meet friends online. They say that when you make friends online they often feel more liberated because they feel less judged. People that are generally shy might prefer to initially meeting friends on an online forum.

For example, if you enjoy running, Runner’s World has an online forum dedicated to running and training, or if you have a weight problem, weight watchers has forums dedicated to dieters everywhere.

Sometimes communicating with people online might make it easier to later communicate with people you meet in college. It is like practicing your social skills on an online forum, and then you will be more comfortable in front of a group of strangers in school.

By latte31 — On Sep 11, 2010

Sneakers41-I know in college there are a lot of extracurricular activities that allow you to make friends.

Joining a sorority or joining a language club might help. Another thing that can help is to get involved in a cause at school.

This really makes it easy to make friends in college because you get to talk to people about the cause and most people enjoy and get a sense of satisfaction in helping others.

This also helps to break the ice because the conversation is not about you but about a charitable cause.

By sneakers41 — On Sep 11, 2010

Learn how to make new friends in college is not hard. The best thing is to have open body language and make eye contact when you speak with someone.

If people find you approachable and friendly they will generally talk to you. Striking up a conversation and showing interest in the other person makes you more interesting and more likely to make friends.

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