When I started college one of my biggest worries was trying to make new friends. Similar to a lot of people it was really hard for me to enter a new environment without my familiar support system from high school. Now with quarantine and social distancing making new friends has gotten even harder. I’ve come up with a few ways that I’ve found to be really great for making new friends this upcoming semester while in quarantine!
This is my number one fool-proof way to make new friends fast in college. I tell everyone I know that is starting college or is just struggling to make new friends that joining a club is the way to go. All you have to do is look up the clubs available at your school and join the one you’re the most interested in. Message the club’s social media page to get the information you need about joining. College clubs range from ones about culture, academic clubs, or just clubs about people with common interests. Joining a club my freshman year of college was the best decision I have ever made because it was the fastest way to find a group of people that I share something in common with! 5 years later and I still talk to the people from that club and have even joined more clubs as my college years went on. With quarantine, it might make it a little harder to interact with club members but there might be online meetings. Just have fun and speak to the club members as much as you can! There will totally be people who are joining at the same time you are so bond with them and make friends with the people who are just nervous as you are. Clubs are meant to be inclusive and it’s a great way to meet tons of new people.
Use Existing Connections
A lot of you chose the college you’re going to because you possibly know or knew people that went there. Use those connections to make new friends! Those people that you know at your college could introduce you to their friends and you’ll be able to meet new people just like that. During my freshman year, I had a friend that I knew who went to school there and she introduced me to so many new people that my friends doubled by the next semester. It’s just a simple trick that’s great for networking but also great for making a bunch of new friends.
Message People In Your Classes
This one takes a little more guts than the other ones but since most classes are online it’s a great opportunity to use the internet to your advantage! A tip I always tell incoming college students is to always make a friend in every class. You never know if you need someone to get the notes from or to ask questions to if you miss something in class. If you are in person then try to talk to the people who sit around you, maybe ask them a question about something to get the ball rolling. They’ll appreciate you speaking first since they are probably just as nervous about making new friends as you are. If your class is online then just message someone you think will make a good friend. More times than not teachers will have a mini ice breaker so everyone can get to know each other. Use that to your advantage and try and find someone you think you would have the most in common with! Like I said it takes a lot of guts but is worth it in the end if you make a new friend.
Make the Most of Group Projects
In college group projects are inevitable and you’re going to find yourself in one if you like it or not. Take advantage of this! You’ll be working with these people sometimes all semester depending on the project and they are suffering from the work just like you are. Out of everyone in your class, they are the people who are going to know how you’re feeling since you’re working on the same project. Invite them to a zoom call study group to work on the project together and from there you guys will slowly get to know each other. This group is going to be people that you are going to spend the most time with so it is just easier to get to know one and another. You never know what could happen if you don’t try, you could even end up making long-lasting friends.
Okay I know it sounds crazy to use a dating app to find new friends but hear me out! Bumble actually has a mode they call BFF mode where you will only be searching for friends rather than dates. This way you’ll find new people that you can choose to speak to with similar interests to you and they will be in your area. Bumble is not the only app that does this, there are even apps that were created just to help people find friends in their area. It’s really simple and a little less threatening since these are people who are also looking for new friends.
Just Say Hi!
Another one that is easier said than done but it is the simplest way to meet new people. I can’t tell you how many times people have people just come up to me at school to tell me they like my backpack or they compliment my makeup. All you have to do is find someone doing or wearing something you’re interested in and start from there. For example, if you see someone reading a book that you know or like tell them that you like it! Such a simple tactic but it will have the other person open up a little to talk about the book they are enjoying as well. I know it can be so scary to go up to a stranger and just say hi but starting off with a compliment will soften the awkwardness of first introductions.
Do you have a hard time making new friends? Let us know in the comments below which of these tips you thought were most helpful to you. Don’t forget to share it with your friends so they can make some new friends too!
Hi, my name is Sara and I'm a 22-year-old college student in New York. I'm a corporate communications major excited and passionate about writing and art. When I graduate from Baruch College I hope to pursue my dream of getting a cosmetology license and hope to one day be working in the beauty industry.