Hi everyone! Life has been so busy for me, but I am so happy that I am able to get back to writing blog posts. Back to School season is upon us and what better time to kick off my College Prep series again!
I have had a lot of requests to do a post on how to make friends in college. The thing about college is that everyone’s experience is different—mainly because we are all different people! That’s the beauty of college. You will meet so many different people from so many different walks of life in college. Although navigating the new territory of college can be intimidating and scary, I highly encourage you to try new things and be open to meeting different people. Thankfully, colleges offer many clubs, activities, and organizations that will give you an opportunity to meet people with similar interests.
Since we all have different personalities, we all have a different way of socializing and meeting people. That’s why I reached out to a few of my favorite bloggers and asked them to share their experiences in making friends in college. I’ll go first!
I’m not ashamed to admit that I met some of my closest friends in my classes. I was/am a bit of a nerd and high achiever, so I made friends with people in classes who were also organized, focused, and dependable. When you are in your upper level courses for your major, most of your classes will have the same people in them and it will be smaller class sizes. I made close relationships with several people in my major classes and are still friends with them today! I met most of my closest friends in graduate school. In grad school, the class sizes are small, and you take the same classes as the students in your cohort. Needless to say, you will share a LOT of time with these people. You will quickly find out who meshes well with your personality. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in your classes and acquaint yourself with them. A word of caution: don’t let work/school life blend into your personal life. Make clear boundaries for yourself and your friends of when it is time to work and when it is time to play!
Mackenzie – @thepreppyislander
Start with your classes. The best way to find any friend is to become pals with your classmates. My rule of thumb was to get three numbers per class, during the first week, because you might need it if you have homework questions or just want to have someone to study with. Through this step, we all became friends by the end of the semester. What’s interesting is that we all had the same classes throughout the years, so that was an added bonus. Plus, they may have taken a class you need to take, so not only can they give you advice for professors, but they can also let you borrow a textbook from that class (if they are willing to let you borrow it or if they still have it LOL).
When you’re a freshman (and depending on the college, sometimes a sophomore) you will live in a dorm. You will be assigned a roommate that you know nothing about and will have to live the whole year with that person. Don’t be afraid to open up to your roomie. If you don’t kick it off, there is no pressure to be best friends with your roommate or spend every minute together—you just have to be respectful and make it a harmonious living environment. With that said, the dorm is a great opportunity to make great bonds with people. You will also have the opportunity to meet other people who live in your dorm. Say hi to them in the hall or organize a movie night for your hall!
Mackenzie – @thepreppyislander
Dorm friends are easy to make. I found that, besides my roomie and I becoming attached at the hip, girls in same hall as you can become your friend. We all bonded on the second floor of Burnam Hall (well, most of us did), and through that, we all had holiday parties, did some charity things for some of the sororities the girls were in, and so on.
Just like any freshman in college, I was lost, scared and sometimes lonely. Working as a teller at a bank and going to class were the only things on my list. With my best friend from high school transferring to another university the following Fall I decided it was time to go out and socialize. I was a pre-dental biology major so my sophomore year I decided to join the pre-dental society and boy was that the best thing I ever did. I made friends that liked the same things I did, that had the same goals, and were in the majority of my classes. I was able to make study groups, land summer internships, go to conferences and make lifetime friends. I ran for office in my organization my junior year and won! I was a founding officer for the American Student Dental Association at my university my senior year. I even traveled to DC for a conference with my best gal pals! We graduated and all went our separate ways but still talk all the time! I’m getting nostalgic just typing this!
The biggest tip I have is to go in with an open mind and join an organization you’re passionate about. Being involved in school doesn’t necessarily mean you have to join a sorority; I personally didn’t have the money to do that. You can get involved in so many other ways! Schools usually have events going on around campus all the time! Go to one, scout it out, maybe go to an organization meeting and see if you like it. There are so many more opportunities to those that are a part of organizations and clubs. Find something you enjoy, and it will make your college experience one that you won’t forget!
Kate and Allie from The Lovely Empire – @thelovelyempire gives insight on sororities:
We found that joining a sorority in college provided us with a wonderful avenue to meet friends! By going through the recruitment process, we were able to meet and interact with a broad community of young women within our campus. Not only were we able to meet the members of each sorority but we also got know the girls who, like us, were in the process of selecting which sorority they hoped to join.
Each sorority chapter on every campus is different, so it’s important to go into recruitment with an open mind. Through conversations with chapter members during the recruitment parties, you’ll learn about their philanthropic partnerships, their social events, and you’ll naturally begin to gravitate to the chapter whose members are most like you!
After we finished our recruitment, we entered into our chosen sorority’s new member process and soon became initiated members! From there, our friendships with our sorority sisters strengthened and we were offered a multitude of leadership opportunities. We found that by joining a sorority we surrounded ourselves with young women on campus who shared many of our interests and goals. For that reason, bonds with our sorority sisters grew easily and have continued to grow since graduating years ago!
Nothing is more intimidating and nerve wracking then waving goodbye as your parents drive away from your new college dorm, and officially set you out on your own to take on the world. As for me, I had a million questions bouncing around my head: how do I make friends? Where should i go? Do I walk up to them, or just leave my dorm room open?
The short answer…yes. Do it all! I went out of my way to be as friendly as possible and begin establishing genuine connections. My school, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, offered many social events throughout the first few days for this very reason. I began connecting with other new students, and quickly established a friend group.
The question then, around gummy worms and cards against humanity, was whether or not to join Greek Life. Many of the girls were in, but us boys were confused. Would it be like they showed in the movies? As an Army ROTC cadet, my number one concern was being a straight arrow, where it would be okay if I turned down drugs or alcohol if I didn’t want it.
After some convincing from my new found buds, I began participating in Fall Rush, and boy was I glad that I did. I had an blast meeting new like-minded individuals, making connections, finding out more about classes and joining in on a bunch of fun events. There seems to be a natural settling of your position within all the fraternities, and within a few days, you find yourself bonding more so with one fraternity to over the rest. After receiving a bid from the fraternity my friends and I had become closest with, I was surprised to have a few brothers reach out to me and take me out to lunch to answer any remaining questions I still had and alleviate any worries on my mind. That extra step really sealed the deal for me, and I signed on the next day.
Fast forward a few months, and becoming a brother was the best thing I could have done for my college and professional career. As a fraternity brother, I was exposed to numerous networking events exclusive to brothers and alumni only. I met industry professionals and business executives who had themselves been brothers and were now actively involved alumni. During my first year of college, I was able to socialize with other Fraternities and Sororities regularly and increase my friend group. It is so refreshing to be able to find at least one or two people in every class that you already know to partner up with on projects and homework. Furthermore, I always had someone reminding me about upcoming exams or projects, and they would often be reaching out to see if I would join them in studying. It’s the little things like this, that leave me to believe I probably would not have stayed at Rensselaer without the love and support of my friends Greek Life.
Thank you to all of the bloggers for your contributions! I would love to hear everyone else’s experiences on making friends in college!