Going to college where you don’t know anyone can seem daunting. Whether you go far from home or are down the street from your hometown, being on campus where you are alone is never a good feeling. Navigating your way through freshman year can be tricky, especially when you have to do it on your own. Being prepared for college life and knowing what your university has to offer is key. Whether you go to a huge university or a small community college, your school will offer plenty of ways to meet new people!
1. Meet Your Dorm Neighbors
The easiest and fastest way to meet new people is to approach them in your hall. They are the people you are going to be seeing constantly throughout the year, so making a good first impression will help make the transition to college much easier. Meeting your neighbors is also a great way to get involved on campus. Everyone has different interests, and meeting different personalities, you might find something you never would have tried on your own. You will be seeing these people often, so making connections fast will make freshman year way easier!
2. Try Different Organizations
Chances are, your university will have booths set up at the beginning of the school year where you can see what all is out there. Depending on the size of the school you are attending, there can be dozens to hundreds to possibly a thousand different organizations to choose from. At the beginning of the school year, they have welcome meetings where you can learn what the organization is about, so attend as many as you please! Even trying one or two that maybe don’t seem like your scene can be a great way to meet people. Having friends with common interests is great, but it’s also nice to have a diverse group of people in your life.
3. Remember…It’s Not High School Anymore
So often, we can feel like we’re back in high school again where everything is a popularity contest. One of the great parts of college is that, most of the time, people don’t care what others think of them! Don’t worry about being cool or finding the popular people to hang out with, because you won’t find those people! Everyone in college is finding themselves and sooner than later, you stop caring about what people think of you and your friends. If you’re surrounded by good people that you care about, random peoples’ opinions won’t bother you.
4. If Someone Invites You Out, Go At Least Once
Not everyone is into the party scene, but it is a classic college experience. If you’re not into drinking or going out but someone invites you, go at least once. You can say you did it and never have to go to a frat party again if you don’t want to! If someone invites you out on the first weekend and you say no, they might not want to ask again, in fear of getting rejected twice. So, try it out, and then if you don’t like it, invite those new friends to something more your speed and see where things go!
5. Go To Different Events
When you live on campus, you’re more prone to seeing all the events that take place at your university that upperclassmen might not even know about. Sometimes there will be games and activities outside the dorms for freshman and other students in the area to join in on. Campus events can be way more fun than most people give it credit for, so don’t be afraid to try them out! Some dorms even have RAs that will plan events for the hall to do together. Game nights, painting parties, and movies are all common ways your RA might try and get the hall bonding. Take advantage of your time living on campus as it flies by!
6. Be Open To Everyone
This goes back to not caring about what other people think. Don’t be standoffish to someone who is putting themselves out there to greet you. Remember that if you are nervous about making new friends, so are thousands of other college students. Someone that you might have never talked to in high school could become your college best friend. Just remember to give everyone a chance and you might make lifetime friends out of it!
7. Look Up Groups By Topics
If you go on your university’s website, there is probably a section to find organizations or groups on campus. You can usually search by topic, such as religion, sports, Greek life, charity, academic, and professional. Try going to groups based on different categories, and see what is out there in every aspect of your college life. You can find a group that is professional and is all about networking and working towards life after college, sports groups where you can play intramural sports, or religious groups where you can meet people with the same beliefs and values as you.
8. Go To Sporting Events
Even if sports aren’t your scene, try attending at least one game. It is a part of college that we will remember for a long time, and you can have a good time regardless of if you are interested in the game or not. Going to college sports games can be a great way to get out of your comfort zone and make lifelong memories.
9. Ask To Sit With New People
It can be daunting to go up to a group of people you don’t know and ask to sit with them, but the odds of them saying yes are very high. Most people aren’t going to say no, which is a comforting thought to have. If you’re the new person at the table, it makes for an easy conversation to get to know each other and see if you have anything in common with them.
10. Start A Study Group
Lots of dorms have study rooms and lounges which makes this option a perfect way to meet new people. Gather some of your neighbors up for a study session during midterms or invite your roommate to a coffee shop. We all have to study in college, so you might as well find some good company for it!