Friend-Making 101

Worried about making friends in college? You are not alone. In fact, a lot of people worry about this. That’s probably why you clicked on a blog titled Friend-Making 101! Here is your quick and easy guide, complete with helpful tips, on how to make friends in college.

1. Open door policy

It’s pretty simple. Keep your dorm room door open as much as possible. People will stop in, say hello, chat for a while or simply wave as they walk by. Having the door open shows friendliness and is more welcoming. Plus, it’s a great way to get to know people while just hanging out. How are you going to meet anybody if your door is shut all the time!? Keep it open. It’s a good place to start.

2. Get involved

This can be as simple as being active on your dorm floor. You’re going to see the people on your floor everyday, so get to know them and be active at house meetings and house events. There will likely be a lot of these the first few weeks. You can also get involved in clubs and other activities right away, because these people will have similar interests as you and that’s an easy conversation starter and friendship builder.

3. Meet as many people as possible

Maybe you have friends from high school or already have a friend group, but there is no reason to block yourself in. Talk to everyone and make as many friends as possible. The more the merrier, right? Plus you never know what will happen. Friendships can come and go, people can transfer or graduate, and so on, so it’s best to have as many friends as possible.

4. Be the leader

A lot of people might be less comfortable approaching people and introducing themselves or setting up group activities. Even if you are a shy person, try to be a leader and put yourself out there. Ask a group of people if they want to go grab dinner with you or if they want to go play basketball at the gym. The worst thing that can happen is they say no thanks. No big deal. And it’s likely that they’ll eventually return the favor and include you in stuff they are doing later on.

5. Conversation starters

Meeting someone for the first time can be awkward. Where do you start? Fortunately college makes this pretty easy. Where are you from? What’s your major? Where are you living this year? What made you want to come to Iowa State? What are you excited to do this year? The list goes on and on. Everybody is in a new situation, so ask about it and then find common ground from there.

Recap: Take initiative, make plans, talk to everyone, be nice (obviously)! Make an effort, both in the dorms and outside of class, to make friends. Like I said, if you sit in your dorm with the door closed all the time, nobody is going to know you. Step out of your comfort zone, make connections, and it’ll all go smoothly from there.

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