College is a great place to make lifelong friends. In college, students bond over shared interests, have fun times together, and help each other through some challenging times, cementing their bonds that last for years after graduation.
However, for freshmen, making friends in college can seem intimidating. Where exactly can they meet people? It can be extra challenging if students go to large schools or they’re in unfamiliar territory, like a college that’s far away from home.
They shouldn’t fret, though. Making friends in college can be easy. All students have to do is get involved, put themselves out there, and not be afraid to express their true selves.
Here are some ways in which they can go about making friends in college.
Hang Out With Your Roommates
Usually, the dorm pairings are random, and roommates may seem to have nothing in common with one another—from the outside at least. Some schools have programs or residences specifically for freshmen, which can potentially help students acclimate to life at college and make friends. It’s important for students to try and forge friendships with their roommates because it can not only make a living situation more enjoyable, but they could turn to their roommates when they need support.
Students can bond with their roommates by cooking meals, watching their favorite shows, and studying together. Be considerate and respectful of roommates as well and not make too much noise late at night or early in the morning, clean up after themselves, and chip in for necessities like toilet paper and coffee. By respecting their roommates’ boundaries and establishing ground rules for the dorm, along with a cleaning schedule, roommates will be much more likely to have good relationships and become friends.
Join a Fraternity or Sorority
If students join a fraternity or a sorority, they will have the opportunity to make new friends. While some fraternities and sororities may have bad reputations because of their hazing practices and emphasis on parties, many focus on philanthropy and building friendships instead.
Students do need to keep in mind that joining Greek life can cost $100 to $1,000, per semester, because members may be required to pay different fees or dues. The cost may vary depending on the school and chapter you join, and there may also be additional fees for first-year membership.
Also, students will need to apply to get into sororities and fraternities and go through a recruitment process to ensure it’s going to be a good fit. Then, if they are accepted, they will typically live with their fraternity or sorority in a house on campus and socialize and volunteer with them on a regular basis.
Get Involved in Clubs
Another option to go about making friends in college is for students to join a club. At the beginning of the school year, colleges have club fairs, where club leaders set up booths and give information about their clubs to incoming freshmen and transfer students. It is there that students can learn more and sign up for an initial meeting.
Some of the various types of clubs students can join include religious, political, academic, cultural, media, and community service clubs. For instance, students can join the school paper, radio or TV station, participate in math and science groups, join a on-campus religious group, find the school’s Republican and Democrat clubs, and volunteer at local animal rescue organizations or homeless shelters.
If students can’t find clubs they’re interested in, they may be able to start their own. They’ll likely have to go to the proper office on campus and follow the guidelines for establishing a new club.
Find Study Buddies in Your Classes
Students can go about making friends in college through their classes. They can start or sign up for study groups that students will use to study for tests together. If two students make a connection, they can always hang out after the group is over and get a bite to eat at the dining hall on campus.
Sign Up for Sports
One of the ways that many students go about making friends in college is by joining a sports team or an intramural sports club on campus. The sports teams are for athletes who are interested in playing on schools’ official teams, while intramural sports clubs are just for fun. Schools offer a variety of different sports like basketball, football, soccer, golf, tennis, and swimming. Students can check out the campus life and sports section of their schools’ websites and look into the options.
Audition for the School Play
Theater clubs or the theater department on campus may hold auditions for school plays. Students can audition for a part and then make friends with the cast and crew members during rehearsal. Putting on a play is quite the bonding experience, and students may cultivate lasting friendships.
Go to Campus Events
Schools are putting on events all the time. They offer concerts, talent shows, guest speaker series, music festivals, stand-up comedy and hypnotist shows, and more. Students can go to these events and meet new friends there. If the event is crowded, students will have to be a little more outgoing and start up conversations with the people nearby in order to hopefully make friends.
Connect With Other Student Workers
If students have jobs or internships on campus , they could talk to their colleagues, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their work. Some places students may work on campus include the college’s admissions office, the endowment office, the dining hall, the coffee shop, the art museum, and the library.
Go to Social Gatherings
If students’ roommates or friends are holding a social gathering or going off campus to check out a local movie theater or restaurant, then students can hang out and hopefully meet new people. Students should keep in mind that while parties can be fun, they can also distract from schoolwork and cause students to get lower grades if they’re partying too often.
Ask People to Hang Out One-on-One
Whenever students meet potential new friends in classes or through clubs, they can invite them to hang out one-on-one to get to know them better. Students can ask them out for coffee or a meal, to an on-campus concert or show, to work out at the gym, or to a sports game.
The Importance of Being Yourself When Making Friends in College
Although students may be worried about making new friends in college, they shouldn’t change their personalities or hide who they really are in order to fit in. It may be a little tough at first, but by joining clubs they’re interested in and finding people who accept them for who they are, they could make lifelong friends. It can take some time and might not always happen within the first semester. Students need to keep trying throughout their four or so years in school to meet new people.
College is where students can set themselves up for professional success as well as make wonderful new friends. However, if they don’t know how they’ll pay for it, there may be even more anxiety before embarking on this exciting next step in their lives.
Private student loans with SoFi are one tool that students can use as they figure out how they are going to pay for college. Private student loans should be relied on only after a student has exhausted all other options such as federal student loans, scholarships, and work-study.
If private student loans are helpful to the student, they can fill out an application online and receive a quote in a few minutes. Qualifying borrowers may be able to unlock competitive interest rates and SoFi’s private student loans are fee free.
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