College: Don’t Go It Alone

College: Don’t Go It Alone
  • Opening Intro -

    The transition from high school to college is not always a smooth one.

    Quite frankly, leaving the secure and known environment of home and stepping into the greater world can be eye-opening, even quite unnerving.

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How to make friends at college.

One way to enrich your college experience is to make friends, other individuals to get to know, mutually support and encourage while making your way through college. Even the introvert can make friends — here is how:

1. Go to orientation. College orientation is to help acquaint you with your school. But, it goes beyond that: it is a way to help you connect with your classmates. Colleges purposefully provide various games and group activities to help you with your social building skills.

2. Just smile. If you walk around with a scowl on your face or look otherwise disinterested, you will find it difficult to make friends. On the other hand, if you smile, say hello and invite conversation, you’ll draw in more people. At least one of them may become a friend.

3. Eat in public. Certainly, you could head to the quiet of your dorm room and eat your meals. Likely, your dorm mate won’t be there as he/she is out there spending time with your classmates. Even if you are shy, eat at least one meal in the student center or cafeteria. If you see someone you recognize ask if you may sit with them and vice versa. Strike up a conversation by introducing yourself — let the talk flow naturally from there.

4. Join a club. College goes well beyond the academic experience. It allows you to build your social skills and what better way to do that than to join a club? Find what interests you and check those groups out. You may be comfortable with a chess club or intramural sports. Or you may prefer Greek life. Even volunteering at a sporting event is a sure way to meet new people.

5. Become a tutor. If you excel in a certain subject area, your knowledge can help struggling students. Indeed, for upperclassmen, the opportunity to work as a tutor can connect you with more people. Often, you’ll get paid for your work too, providing a great way to earn money while you help others. And helping others can help you begin lasting relationships.

6. Study in a group. One sure way to connect with your classmates is to study in a group. When midterm and final exams loom, you’ll see groups of students converging upon the library, the student center and other public gathering spots to meet up. Together, you’ll share knowledge about the class, exchange notes, and test each other. And by connecting on what seems to be a rather simple level, you’ll make new friends as well.

7. Keep your heart open. It is true that you need to guard your heart, especially when it comes to meeting new people. At the same time, you need to let your guard down enough to learn about others including what they believe, their cultural background, as well as their likes and dislikes. You don’t have to agree 100 percent with someone to be a friend. Respecting others is a great way to show yourself friendly.

New Friends

When meeting new people make a point to try to remember their names. And if your first impression of that person is not necessarily a good one, do not let that hold you back. Chances are you don’t always make a good first impression either.

See AlsoMaking Friends and Your College Experience

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Categories: Personal Advice