For many students, going to college also means moving away from family, friends, and all things familiar. And unlike kindergarten, you can no longer make friends while digging holes to China in the sandbox. (Well, maybe you can, but for our purposes here, we’ll assume there are no sandboxes on campus, and you’ve wised up on the whole “digging a hole to China” pipe dream.) Lucky for you there are plenty of other ways to make friends in college, and, for the most part, you don’t even have to worry about getting all sandy.
- Talk to people in your classes! Ok, this might seem like a no-brainer, but in those huge lecture halls or online discussion boards, it’s easy to come and go without saying a word to anyone. Introduce yourself to the people around you – if you need an icebreaker, ask if they know of any good restaurants, museums, or kickboxing classes near campus.
- Join a club or organization. Schools are packed with ways to pursue your interests, be it chess, animals, accounting, photography, dance, music – you get the picture. Clubs are a great way to get to know people with similar interests and to become active in campus life.
- Start your own club or organization. Your campus doesn’t have a zombie defense league? Start one up!
- Join, or start, a study group. Great friendships can be formed while memorizing facts, studying for tests, and agonizing over papers. Plus, bonus, you’ll probably get better grades!
- Join an intramural sports team. If you really miss making friends while getting sandy, see if there’s a beach volleyball team on campus, or else branch out and try out for soccer or rugby. Many campuses also offer courses in fencing, bowling, and self-defense. Plus, double bonus, this is also a great way to avoid gaining the freshman 15!
- Attend a religious service on or near your campus. It’s a great way to meet new people with similar beliefs and get a little boost every weekend!
- Volunteer. Check out ways to volunteer both on-campus (say, as a tour guide), or off-campus (like at an animal shelter). You’ll meet new people and feel good about it, too!
- Get involved in student leadership. It looks good on a resume and is a great way to meet people, as well.
So pack up your sand toys, put on your name tag and a smile, and get out there and meet some new people!