Emily Barylske is one of our student writers here at CollegeXpress. She takes common college search questions and researches the answers. Those helpful answers end up here in our new Q&A With Emily column! If you have a question for Emily, feel free to leave it in a comment, send us an e-mail, or get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Question: How easy is it to make friends at college?
It’s very easy actually. I thought the whole process was going to be difficult, but it’s not! Here are a few easy ways to make friends during your first few weeks of college.
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.
Wear a shirt featuring your favorite sports team, TV show, movie, or band
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 love to talk, especially about what they love. This is also a way to make friends and find “your people” in college.
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.
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 plans 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 then from winter to spring I will manage men’s volleyball. Being active in volleyball made me a part of their family, and it is so nice to have a family away from home here on campus. 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. One of the games I got involved in, I met a guy, and now we are dating and great friends. You never know what is going to happen, but trust me: it is very simple and easy to make friends here at college. Just go be you!
Related: 7 Tips for Making Friends in College