A true friend accepts who you are, but also helps you become who you should be. -Unknown
Making friends in college can seem daunting, especially if you're shy or introverted. It's a new environment, with new people, and it can be tough to know how to break the ice, get involved with campus events, and make new friends.
Colleges allow students to discover themselves and try out new things. You don’t have parental oversight and you have freedom of choice from first-hand experiences. But it might also be your first time in this type of social environment. Few moments of life are more exciting than starting school on a clean slate.
It can be difficult to find friends when it comes to attending a college program, but not always. Making new friends takes conscious effort to get out of your comfort zone. Sometimes it would be easier if there were some type of guide to help us navigate this pivotal moment in life.
But don't worry – we've got you covered!
In this blog post, we'll provide a quick guide on how to make friends in college. We'll also offer tips for how to make friends when you're feeling shy or uncomfortable.
So, whether you're just starting college or you've been attending classes for a while, read on for some valuable advice!
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How to make friends in college when you are shy
If you're shy, making friends in college can be a bit of a challenge. Here are ten tips to help you make the most of your college experience, even if you're shy:
1. Get involved in extracurricular activities
This is a great way to meet people with similar interests as you. Attend club meetings, join a sports team or volunteer for a campus organization.
Take an active role on campus
Colleges offer plenty to do outside of the regular curriculum. You can join a club! There are probably campus clubs that have everything from politics to religious debates! I grew into a very successful publisher in the early days of college and I stayed there for many years.
This position allowed me to connect with different types of students. I've met people I've never met. Clubs are wonderful because they have many people that you like. Plus, your meetings with another person are consistent, thereby strengthening the ties with each other.
Join a Fraternity or sorority
Joining a fraternity or sorority gives you the option to meet new people in college by placing you with like-minded individuals. These clubs may require a fee to join, but make sure you start exploring your options earlier so that you can raise enough money before fees are due.
Greek clubs offer lifetime friendships. And the cool part about this is that you even become sisters or brothers with other club members from college campuses all around the world.
2. Participate in class
Don't be afraid to raise your hand or answer questions. Your classmates will be more likely to approach you if they see that you're engaged in the material.
As an introvert or shy person, it may seem difficult to draw attention to yourself in college. But think of all the opportunities you miss out on when you don't make an effort to make friends.
You are not alone
By participating in class, someone may invite you to join their study group. Or you can create a study group on your own! College students don't typically make an effort to leave their comfort zone because no one wants to look silly.
However, I can assure you that you are not the only student that has questions about class material. Participating in class is an excellent way to meet new people in college AND earn class credit.
3. Make an effort to talk to people in your dorm
Whether you're studying together in the lounge or grabbing a bite to eat in the cafeteria, take advantage of opportunities to strike up a conversation with your fellow students, even when there is a group.
Dorms can provide an opportunity for memorable interactions for students going through similar experiences. Many freshman dormitories on campus hold social events including a karaoke night, Door Décor contest, picnic on the Quad, and others! Fight the urge to sleep alone at night to meet a random student on a common area sofa.
Friendships that last a lifetime
College dorms can be pretty magical places. During my first year in college, I had the chance to have an awesome roommate, and years later she was sending me an invite to her wedding. People in college dorms can easily become friends and create lasting friendships, but you have to be willing to leave your comfort zone.
4. Attend campus events
There's always something going on at college, from concerts and movies to lectures and club fairs. Attend events by yourself or with a friend, and you're sure to meet new people. When you join a club in college, you usually receive updates about campus events year-round.
Don's shy away from a campus group
You can have fun at upcoming college social events like a concert, themed fair, open mic night, craft day, and many other events. While there is time for study, these fun and relevant programs will help you make connections with other students.
If you are a sophomore, you can participate in the orientation week or Faculty-Study mixers. This event is primarily geared towards bringing people together. It is possible to be shy during college but also meet friends at campus events.
5. Explore your town or city
There's plenty to do off-campus, too. Go for a walk in the park, check out a local museum, or grab a bite to eat at a new restaurant. You might meet some friendly locals who can show you around.
If you are attending a college or university that is in a different town than where you went to high school, then you have the perfect chance to gather new experiences and make new friends.
Go where you feel welcomed
If you want to meet people, then go to the places in your town or city that attract the type of people you would want to hang out with. If you are more shy or introverted and do not enjoy large crowds, then try to meet people in local cafes or bookstores. You don't just have to go to the cafes on campus. If you're lucky then your community off-campus will provide various options for you.
6. Join an online community
If you're not ready to venture out in person, you can still make friends online. Join an online forum or chat room related to a hobby or interest you have.
If you are like most people then you probably already started joining online groups of like-minded people while in high school. But don't be afraid to explore new groups while in college. We grow and evolve over time and so do our interests.
Create an online group of friends
College students, especially, have a lot of evolving to do. We are begging the developmental process of discovering what we do and do not like and who we are deciding to show up as. Explore this process with different communities and see what resonates with you the most.
If you can't find an online community that fits your needs then create one yourself and invite people to join. There are plenty of people with similar interests, and you have the ability to create a space for them.
7. Get a part-time job
Working with other people is a great way to socialize and make friends. You might even meet some people who live near you and can become study buddies or hang out outside of work.
Yes, student jobs usually require students to work campus jobs for a few reasons: The fridge is more than hot sauce and mayo, but the jobs also offer a chance to meet other students who are part-time. They are always there, so take a chance and welcome them! Working under the same supervision is good. Bidisha praised this approach for internship programs and volunteer efforts.
Make friends and money
Campus jobs serve multiple purposes: making new friends AND making extra income on the side. You can't go wrong with this approach but you have to be willing to try.
8. Take a class
Whether it's an art or dance class, a cooking course, or anything in between, taking a class is a great way to meet new people who share your interests.
Developing a relationship with an individual is a very important step. Sharing hobbies like doing yoga and dancing will always give you an idea of what you should talk about. Having someone take you to the gym can encourage you to reach your health goals.
You can also exchange numbers and text regarding recovery strategies or plan another interesting activity for relaxing and recovering.
9. Start a conversation
It may seem daunting, but all you have to do is strike up a casual conversation with someone.
Say yes to new opportunities
When you are in the dining hall, strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you. Making new friends doesn't have to be a complicated process. Talk about the weather, your classes, or anything else that comes to mind. You never know where a conversation might lead.
10. Just be yourself
At the end of the day, people are more likely to befriend someone they like and who is genuine. If you are not being true to yourself, then how do you expect to make those lasting friendships?
There are plenty of people that will share a common ground, but you have to show authenticity in order to meet new people. Being yourself will require you to get to know who you are and what makes you happiest.
Start the journey of self-discovery
College can be a weird time of self-exploration, but when you take the time to get to know who you are you create the space for others to do the same.
So relax, be yourself, and don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Making friends in college can be a great experience if you let it be.
More questions about making friends in college.
How to make friends in college as an introvert?
According to an estimate, 25 to 40 percent of the people in the world are introverted by nature.
An introvert is someone who tends to internalize their thoughts and feelings, as opposed to externalizing them. This can manifest itself in a number of ways, but some common ones are shyness, being reticent to speak up in groups, and preferring solitary activities over social ones.
While there are plenty of benefits to being an introvert, socialization and making new friends for an introvert becomes a problem at times.
Now, if you're an introvert, making friends in college can be a bit daunting. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
First and foremost, don't force yourself to do things that make you uncomfortable. For example, if large parties aren't your scene, don't feel like you have to go to them just because everyone else seems to be having a good time. There are plenty of other ways to meet people, and you'll likely find that you're much more comfortable (and therefore able to be yourself) in smaller groups or one-on-one interactions.
That said, don't be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things. College is the perfect time to experiment and find out what you like and don't like. So go ahead and sign up for that club you're interested in, or strike up a conversation with someone you don't know. You never know where it might lead!
Finally, remember that making friends takes time. Don't expect to meet your best friend on the first day of college. It takes time to get to know someone and develop a deeper friendship. So be patient, and keep putting yourself out there. The friends you make in college will last a lifetime!
How long does it take to make friends in college?
This is a question that I get a lot from students and their parents. And it's a great question! The answer, however, is not so simple. It really depends on the person and how outgoing they are.
Be patient with this process
Some people click with others right away and find their group of friends within the first few weeks of college. For others, it may take a little longer.
But don't worry, there are plenty of opportunities to make friends in college! By following the tips given in the preceding parts, one can definitely make friends faster.
Is it hard to make friends at college?
The short answer is "it depends." In this article, we have outlined some of the best practices for how to make friends in college.
Whether that is exploring different campus jobs, putting yourself out there by starting a conversation in the dining hall, or just plain being yourself, there are plenty of ways to meet new people in college. However, the level of difficulty depends on how open you are to the experience and how authentic and true you are to yourself.
The best friendships are cultivated only after we discover that making good friends means being a good friend also.
Making friends in college can be daunting, but it’s not impossible. If you "say yes" to the process of putting yourself out there, you may discover numerous opportunities to create lasting friendships.
With a little effort and these tips, you should start to see new friendships form in no time.
And don’t forget – if you ever feel lost or need help, your campus is filled with resources to help you find your people.
Good luck and happy befriending!