When you go to college, it is unlikely that you will be with your old friends, which means you will have to make new friends. However, it will require more effort and proactivity on your part. Besides, you cannot make friends by being holed up in your room all day, you need to go out and mingle.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to create a new group of friends in college.
1. Be proactive
To make new friends, you may need to be the one to take the first step instead of waiting to be approached. For instance, you can make it a point to talk to at least one new person daily. Introduce yourself to strangers and you can start a conversation in the laundry room, in the elevator, in the dining hall, in the sports ground or anywhere the opportunity arises. The more people you talk to, the higher the chances of making new friends.
You can go to class a few minutes early and chat with a few people there. The conversation can be about a school event, your professor or your assignment.
2. Go out
Yes, you need to leave your dorm room if you want to make friends in college. Attend campus events such as campus parties, games, campus festival or dance. You can meet lots of people here who can end up becoming your friends.
Instead of eating in your dorm room, go to the dining hall. Interact with other students who frequent the dining hall. For instance, you can take a seat near a student who looks friendly and strike up a conversation.
Accept invitations. Sometimes the people you are interacting with can invite you to a party, lunch or just coffee. Provided you are not doing anything against what you believe in or you are uncomfortable, accept the invitation. You can go out for lunch or coffee but don’t go to parties if it is not your thing.
3. Take part in activities and join groups
Another avenue where you can make friends is on sports teams, groups, and clubs. Join clubs such as cultural clubs, academic clubs or performing arts clubs. You can also join volunteer organizations, sorority or fraternity, a religious community or a study group. Here you can meet people with similar interests as you.
If you are into sports, you can join a sports team, whether it is competitive sports or just friendly matches. New friendships can be formed when you work to achieve a goal together. You could also take a gym class or a pickup game that doesn’t require a lot of commitment from you.
4. Attract others
Friendship is two-way and if you are not friendly, you may not make any friends. You need to attract others by being approachable and be inviting. Use body language to show others that you are ready for friendship such as making eye contact and smiling. Being on your phone throughout, looking down or crossing your arms can send the wrong message to others.
Be open-minded when choosing friends. Don’t dismiss someone simply because they are from a different background or race.
Most of all be yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not so you can fit in. look for people who appreciate you as you are and who shares your passions, values, and interests.
Avoid those with undesirable behaviors such as lazy bones, drunkards, and those with immoral behavior. For instance, if you befriend a drunkard, you may end up in the same trap and you may have to look for ways to stop drinking later in life, sometimes in vain.