The first few days, even weeks of college can be intimidating. There are so many factors that can make this adjustment stressful.
For many young people, it’s their first time living away from home. For most, they are not just living away from home but living in close quarters with people they’ve only just met.
It’s completely normal to feel first-day jitters leading up to move-in day, but don’t let the jitters overtake your excitement.
College is an opportunity to learn more about yourself, meet new people that could be forever friends and get one step closer to your dream career.
To be sure, making friends when you’re in your 20s isn’t the easiest task.
You’ve likely had the same friends for most of your life, so it can be difficult putting yourself back out there among strangers.
Here is a how-to guide on things you can do to make friends in college.
While roommates can be hit or miss, they are typically the first people you’re connected with when starting school.
Having roommates that help push you out of your comfort zone can be really healthy for you.
Attending events on your own can be intimidating, yet having familiar faces on your side can make things a lot more comfortable.
Get to know your roommates. Spend time talking with them because these people could be your first friends in college. On the flip side, you don’t want to spend time only with your roommates — and it’s important to do your own thing as well.
If you don’t know your roommates, reach out to them before moving into college and start conversations.
If you all live nearby, consider meeting up beforehand and getting to know each other. It’s wise to start talking to these people before move-in day, so they won’t seem like complete strangers to you.
One way a lot of students in high school connect with one another is through sports. Upon entering college, some students get the opportunity to play on a sports team, while others may not want that high level of commitment but still want to be involved in sports they love.
Enter intermural and club sports teams: These sports range in competitiveness but are a fun way to stay in shape, meet new people and stay involved in sports.
For intramural sports, teams are typically created by students and tournament-style play is set up against other teams made up of students from the school.
Club teams are usually a bit more regimented. Some teams are student-run while others have a coach. These teams usually have organized practices and games against other schools.
These different programs are absolutely worth looking into and a great way to meet new people.
There are many clubs and organizations at college, and they are an amazing way to meet other students who share your interests.
There are clubs that revolve around sports, art, music, culture, academics and more. Usually, there is a list of clubs on the college’s website that students can check out to get an idea of what they want to join.
Also, many colleges have events before the semester starts in which members of clubs set up booths so that incoming students can look around and learn more about each of the organizations.
In each college dorm, there are resident assistants (RAs) who help students with the move-in process and provide support to them throughout the year.
One common job of RAs across colleges is to create programs for students to attend.
If you see an event happening in a dorm, no matter how big or small, take the extra time to check it out.
You’ll be able to meet other students living in your dorm and participate in a fun activity.
College sports games are filled with school spirit, fun, music, good food and lots of students.
Attending these events is a great way to talk to people you may not have met otherwise, and they would be great to bring your roommates along with you.
If you’re looking for a little extra cash while you’re in school, an on-campus job can help keep your bank account funded and help you meet more people around campus.
You’ll get to engage with your co-workers and all the people you’ll meet during the day.
Popular places to get an on-campus job are in the dorms, dining halls, gyms and the academic buildings around campus.
Don’t be shy during your classes! For a lot of college classes, you’ll be surrounded by people within your major.
You may find a lot of friends among your peers. It’s also helpful to have friends in your classes with whom you can work on assignments, bounce ideas and ask questions.
When sparking up conversations with classmates, start with simple ones like, “What made you pick your major?” and “Where are you from?”
Simple conversation starters can go a long way.
You’re not going to make any friends by sitting in your dorm room all day.
Dorm rooms are full of common spaces where students go to hang out and work on assignments together.
Simply choosing to do your homework in a lounge rather than in your dorm room could potentially open you up to meeting new people as well.