Originally Posted: Sep 11, 2017
Last Updated: Oct 26, 2020
While making new friends in college can seem like one of the more intimidating factors of your exciting new journey, it’s certainly not as hard as you think. Classes, extracurriculars, campus events, and more make it easy to meet and get to know a lot of different students in the first few weeks of college. Here are some tips to get you out there and making new friends!
1. Join a sport or club
Being part of a sport or club in college is like joining another family. Everyone takes care of one another, and you all have one common interest and that is what brought you together, whether it be volleyball or chess, choir or equal rights. You will be around these people through meetings, practices, games, bus rides, or meal times, and it will make the whole process of making friends easier because you will get to know them, and then they can introduce you to people who also share common interests.
Related: 7 Tips for Making Friends in College
2. Wear a specific graphic T-shirt
People pay attention to clothing, and if someone sees you wearing something they recognize, there’s a high chance they will approach you and discuss that with you. People also love to talk, especially about what they love. You could find a new friend to gush pop culture and your favorite media with on a totally unexpected day. This is a great way to make friends and find “your people” in college with little to know effort. Hopefully your new friendship is effortless as putting on a shirt in the morning!
3. Speak up
Don’t be afraid to speak up or be vocal about your opinions during new student orientation or in your classes. There was a young gentleman at my orientation who brought up the issues of discrimination, racism, and homophobia, and he addressed many issues. After he did this, many others stood up and spoke out. This is a way to make a difference and make friends. Every time I saw him this past week, people were walking with him and discussing things with him. He stood out by speaking up about issues that mattered to him, and that helped him make friends who care about the same issues.
4. Get involved
Okay, so some of the games and icebreakers they plan for new students to introduce themselves to each other may seem kind of dumb, but get involved anyway. You never know who you will meet, and you never know who you might like and who might end up liking you. Also, it creates amazing memories. You don’t want all your college memories to be just you bottled up in your dorm room, do you? Plus, Campus Activities always has fun activities and events up their sleeves to keep students busy and entertained—plus, free food
It didn’t take me long to make friends. I manage women’s volleyball this fall for McKendree University, and being active in volleyball made me a part of their family. I made friends with a girl who had a backpack that made a reference to “Howl’s Moving Castle.” I spoke up at the same event as the young gentleman I mentioned before. I went to the Involvement Fair and took part in the games during orientation. You never know what is going to happen, but trust me: it is very simple and easy to make friends at college. Just get out there and be you!
For more helpful college life advice from students just like you, check out our student vloggers on the CollegeXpress YouTube channel.