Make friends in college

Want to make friends in college? Then this is the best time!!! College is a great time for exploring and learning new things, but it can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to friendships. A compelling study reveals that 60% of first-year students say that they experience social isolation during their first year.

This is where this guide comes in! It is essential to form friendships in college for better campus life. Peers are a social network, a positive influence, and may even contribute to your better grades. In this article, we will examine ten practical strategies to create a social network and be successful as a first-year student.

  1. Dynamics of Expressing Confidence and Openness.
How to make friends in college

And the first thing towards making friends is becoming approachable. It is human tendency to approach and initiate a conversation with an individual if the latter comes across as approachable. Here’s how to project confidence and openness through body language:

  • Maintain good posture: Maintain a good posture and do not slouch forward. This indicates to the college mate that you are alert and concerned with the environment around you.
  • Make eye contact and smile: An open and sincere smile and maintaining eye contact are excellent ways to make the person think that you are very approachable.
  • Uncross your arms: Folded arms can produce a defensive image and give the impression that you are distant.

Bonus Tip: Get ready to come up with some introduction phrases! It is always good to have a few questions or comments in mind that get you out of an awkward silence in any situation. For example, you may write about the class you have just completed, the upcoming event, or the nice outfit that someone has put on.

If you keep these things in mind, then it will not be difficult for you to make an impressive first impression and ensure that you get more friends.

  1. Joining Clubs and Organizations: Find Your Tribe

Every college has got clubs and organizations that are inclined to a variety of interests. Club activities are a great means of mingling with others who have common interests. Here’s how to find the perfect club for you:

Make friends in college
  • Brainstorm Your Interests: What are you interested in? Is music, anime, environmentalism, or volunteering something you are passionate about? It will also be helpful to let your mind wander and think about your hobbies and interests.
  • Research Your Options: Many campuses have a directory of registered organizations that students can access on the internet. There are also club fairs or you can even ask upper-classmen for new clubs that you have not known yet.
  • Don’t Just Attend One Meeting: Demonstrate your interest in the activities by being a regular attender. This gives you a chance to interact with other members and get a feel of what it is like to be a member of the club.
  • Participate Actively: Do not hesitate to ask questions, offer to complete the tasks, and contribute to the discussion. The more you engage, the better your chances are of finding like-minded individuals.

It is not right to think that the only reason to join a club is to find friends; you can also use it to gain experience, achieve your professional goals, and become useful for the university community.

  1. Leverage Social Media and College Apps: Connect Before You Arrive

The use of social media platforms is another way you can easily reach out to your classmates and fellow freshmen before joining college. Here’s how to leverage social media and college apps to get a head start on making friends:

  • Explore College-Specific Platforms: It is common for many universities to have official Facebook groups or pages dedicated to the first year students. These are some groups to join in order to find classmates, discuss with them, share experiences, or ask questions. Furthermore, some campuses have adopted apps such as the Campus Labs through which students can find their roommates.
  • Master the Art of Online Interaction: Do not just watch and remain passive! Engage with others in discussion boards, share about your hobbies, and join online events. This reveals your character and makes you more amiable to people around you.
  • Strike Up Conversations Online: For instance, you come across someone with a neat profile picture or someone who is in your group of interest in a shared post. Direct message them and briefly introduce yourself and find something in common that you both like.

With these resources, you are able to establish contacts before even joining college, therefore easing your transition and reducing the chances of feeling overwhelmed.

  1. Orientation and Freshman Events: Embrace New Beginnings

Orientation week and other events for freshmen are aimed to make students feel comfortable and to let them find friends among their peers. Here’s how to maximize your experience and make the most of these opportunities:

  • Orientation Benefits: Orientation entails fun activities, introductory sessions, and a chance to introduce oneself to other freshmen students as well as seniors who may help them.
  • Plan Your Schedule: Some orientations are tight, meaning they take very little time. Try to find some event, which can be an academic meeting, social party, club meeting or fair.
  • Step Outside Your Comfort Zone: Do not be shy and go out and meet new people and do not be afraid to venture into new experiences. Go for events that appear as if they would capture your interest, even though they are not in your typical realm of interest. It is possible that in the end you are going to find that you have a secret passion or have met a person with the same passion.
  • Follow Up: Want to know the people you are going to meet at an event? Share your contact details or become friends with them on social networks in case you may need each other in the future.

Orientation and other events arranged for the freshmen serve as a platform for the formation of friendship. If you want to find your college crew, you need to get out there and make the most out of your college experience because the more you engage yourself, the higher your chances of meeting your college friends.

  1. Building Connections in Your Dorm: Your Home Away From Home.

Your dorm is not just a place where you have to sleep, but a place you will be living in for the next year. The people you live near can become close friends, so here’s how to turn your dorm into a social hub:

  • Interact with Your Roommate(s): This is your first opportunity to get fully engaged with the other party. Establish expectations for talking to one another and for the shared living space, but also create shared goals, such as going around campus or to get coffee or watch a movie.
  • Participate in Residence Hall Activities: Social workers or Resident Advisors (RAs) are responsible for managing the dorm and they also organize different events. These are great chances to get together with your floormates and mingle with people who live in the same area, whether it be playing games, watching a movie, or having a themed dinner.
  • Embrace the Open Door Policy: You might also consider leaving your door open occasionally (when you are comfortable with people on your floor) to foster positive and natural interaction with your floormates. It can be over a common topic of discussion or just a casual conversation, which might lead to friendship.

You can make yourself vulnerable and create a welcoming environment in your dorm which will help you to create lasting bonds with others and transform your place of residence into a platform for making friends.

  1. Study Groups and Academic Connections: Brains and Bonds.

It is for this reason that college is not all about having fun, but there is a side that is more serious, the academic side. But have you ever thought that it is possible to find friends within a study group? Here’s how to leverage study groups and academic connections to build friendships:

Form or Join a Study Group: Grouping classmates in your courses by learning preferences and academic objectives can be beneficial for all parties. Search for fellow students who may appear to be active in class or if there are any posts that people have made on social media sites where they are looking for study partners.

  • Benefits Beyond Grades: Besides, seeing how the material is presented from a different perspective can be enlightening and help you potentially get better grades, but more importantly, study groups give you a chance to get to know your classmates in a different manner. Interacting with peers to explain ideas that have been covered in the course, exchanging notes on how to study, and overcoming hard assignments can create a bond that forms the basis of friendship.
  • Collaborate on Projects: Most classes have a component of group work or group assignments. It is always good to interact with coworkers during the course of the project and besides, it creates an opportunity for friendship with your project partners.

Do not forget that studying can be done in a group as well as it is not a boring process. With study groups and group learning, not only will you be able to achieve well in your classes, but you will also be able to build lifelong friendships with your fellow scholars.

  1. Taking Advantage of Shared Spaces: Strike Up Conversations Naturally

Campus life contains a large number of spaces that are open for students, which can be used for recreation, learning, or communication. These spaces can be good places to find new acquaintances and, consequently, friends.

  • Common Areas: Determine which areas of the campus are frequently visited by students and these may include lounges, cafeterias, libraries, or student organizations. Use the time to improve your likelihood of interacting with others in those areas.
  • Overcoming Shyness: It is normal to feel shy or awkward in new environments we are not used to. Here are some tips to break the ice:
  • Offer Help: Just think of seeing someone having a hard time lifting a heavy book or just looking puzzled at a map? Offer your assistance. It is not only an effective way of starting a conversation but also a good opportunity to make a new friend.
  • Comment on Your Surroundings: Is there a captivating piece in the newspaper that someone is currently turning the pages of? Is there a new tempting food item that has been added to the cafeteria menu? People first talk about whatever is around them, so use your surroundings as a starting point for small talk.
  • Join the Conversation: For instance, if there is a group of people discussing a course you are also taking or an event that shall happen in the campus, you can interrupt them politely and join the discussion.
  • Finding Common Ground: Search for individuals or groups with which you have common interests. Do you think you will see a person wearing a band t-shirt that you are familiar with? That band? I love that band! Is she also preparing for the same test as you are? Promise to exchange notes or tips on how to study.

This means, by being in common places and even approaching people, one can start conversations which may lead to friendships.

  1. The Art of Conversation and Being a Good Listener: It’s a Two-Way Street.

Friendship is not only about expressing yourself, but also listening and being attentive to what other people have to say. Here’s how to master the art of conversation and become a good listener:

  • Active Listening Skills: It’s always nice to be around a person who listens to you. Here are some active listening techniques to show you’re engaged:
    • Maintain eye contact and nod: This demonstrates that one is listening and helps the other person to feel more comfortable to continue speaking.
    • Summarize and paraphrase: Summarize what has been said and just briefly to demonstrate that you have listened and are eager.
    • Ask clarifying questions: Do not hesitate to clarify things during the conversation and do not shy away from asking questions.
    • Go Beyond Small Talk: Although using topics that are not very significant is good to start with, try to delve deeper especially in order to deepen a relationship. Be curious about the other person’s life and listen without judgment or interruption. For instance, you may ask about the place in which they have grown up, their interests, or their dream profession.
    • Active Listening in Practice: Below, I have outlined some conversation prompts that are not just idle chit chat and can help in active listening:
  • “Wow, that’s interesting! Can you please share more information about your experience in that class?”
  • “I like your [insert item].” “What drew you into [related interest]?
  • “Hi, what are you most excited for this semester?”

The following are some of the ways of how the article relates to the concept of friendship: The article highlights that in order to create strong friendships, you need to show that you care by listening and engaging in meaningful conversations.

  1. Volunteering and Community Service: Make a Difference, Find Your Tribe

College isn’t only a place to gain knowledge and interact with other people; it’s also a chance to contribute to society. Serving your spare time can be a fulfilling way of engaging with like-minded people and making a positive change. Here’s how to leverage volunteering for friendship and personal growth:

  • Opportunities on Campus: Colleges and universities provide a range of volunteer jobs that can be located on the college or in the surrounding community. These opportunities can include jobs at animal shelters and soup kitchens, helping with projects concerning the environment, or tutoring.
  • Finding Opportunities: To find your niche, try going to your school’s volunteer center, searching in online databases for volunteer work, or visiting your school organizations fairs to find something you care about.
  • Benefits of Volunteering: Volunteering also enables one to meet people who have similar interests in giving their time and effort in supporting a particular cause. When people are working together towards a common goal, people are able to feel that unity, and can build friendships.

In volunteering, you will also get an opportunity to change the world for the better, and at the same time, get a chance to associate with like-minded people and possibly make new friends.

  1. Maintaining a Positive Attitude: Rejection is Normal, Optimism is Key.

Like any other activity, making friends in college is not always an easy affair but is a very exciting process. In this case there may be times that you may feel rejected or even discouraged. Here’s how to maintain a positive attitude and keep moving forward:

  • Stay Optimistic: One should always look forward to meeting new people to make friends as this will help in making friends easily. Try to stay focused on the fact that college is a new beginning and a chance to make new friends. Just remind them that, as we all know, friendship is not something that is built in a day.
  • Rejection is Normal: Do not assume that the other person does not want to be friends, or have no time for you at all. Everyone experiences rejection sometimes. Just as in other areas of life, it is possible to fail when trying to achieve something, but what matters is to learn from the experience and if necessary, change tactics, and continue to try.
  • Focus on the Positive: Try to remember the few good encounters you have had with your fellow man even if you have not yet formed a friendship with them. The concern should be on expanding on those contacts and not close the door to new contacts.

Just keep in mind that college is a formative period in most people’s lives and thus is the right time for experimentation. So, staying active in college activities with a positive mindset and willingness to meet new people will help you find your college friends and have friends for the rest of your life.


This article has presented the following ten strategies that can assist an individual in making friends during their freshman year. So, the key message is that you should embrace who you are, go out there and do not be afraid to try new things. If you approach it with a positive mind set and a desire to interact with other people, you will surely create a good network of friends and be a successful college student.

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