Making Friends 101: A Co-Ed’s Guide To Making Friends

Making Friends 101: A Co-Ed’s Guide To Making Friends

It’s the second week of school and you still haven’t broken the ice with a single soul. The fraternity parties are booming on Friday nights while you’re bumming in your dorm room, hoping your roommate doesn’t come home early to find you watching reruns of True Blood.

While it may be tempting to spend the remainder of your college years hibernating on your own, living for your holidays back home with your high-school friends, the reality is that it’s time to embrace your new lease on university life. Whether you’re going to school near or far from home, making friends in college does not have to be a difficult task. Follow these easy tips to make friends.

1. Reinvent yourself. Nerd? Prep? Jock? Bimbo? The beauty of college is that those labels mean absolutely nothing today. Naturally, you can still pick out who is hanging on to their jock status while you’re casing the room in Algebra I, it no longer matters what your label was back in the day. If you were the guy who spent more time on his laptop than with friends, you don’t have to be that person any more. If you were the girl too shy to make eye contact with anyone, you don’t have to do that anymore.

Reinventing yourself is a matter of choice. Envision who you want to be in college. Write a description of the person you want to be. “I get good grades, but I still have a social life. I get invited to parties and accept invitations. I’m not afraid to show up at a club meeting alone, just to see what it’s all about…” Re-read this reinvention statement from time-to-time and ask yourself what steps you can take to become that person. Put those steps in to action. Become the person you want to be.

2. Try something new. It is not easy to make friends by sitting in a giant lecture hall or by eating in the university food court alone. What does your college town offer that you haven’t thought of trying before? Check local bulletin boards for deals at businesses just for college students. Is someone offering discounted yoga classes? A kayaking lesson? If these are things you never thought you would enjoy, branch out and try something new – this is a great way to meet new people.

3. Get a “college” job. Leave fast-food work for the high-schoolers. Get a job that will put you in direct contact with your peers on a regular basis. Apply for work at the local coffee shop. Scout out the cool bar in town and apply to cocktail waitress. Find the social hangouts your peers are frequenting and apply to work there. Inevitably, you will meet the people you work with and get to chat it up with your fellow co-eds.

4. Join a club or organization. There are a ton of clubs and organizations recruiting college students every day on your campus. Rather than falling victim to someone’s sales pitch for their club, do your own research. Find a club that caters to your interests and ideas. Are you passionate about gay and lesbian issues? Join your LGBU. Want to make connections that may help you in the future? Maybe it’s time to consider whether to rush this fall. If you can think of it, there is likely a club on your campus that caters to it. Jump in and check out a meeting – it is a great way to meet people.

5. Practice the art of chit-chat. All these tips mean nothing unless you can master the basic art of small talk. Strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you at a club meeting. Ask them how long they’ve been involved with the club or organization? Ask someone where they are from. Smile. Make eye contact. This may feel awkward at first, but practice the art of chit-chat. You will get better and it will get easier.