Some college friendships last a literal lifetime, so it’s no surprise that most college students are looking to create genuine friendships while in university. Beyond this, though, we as humans have an inherent need for social connection. When you go to school, especially if it’s your first time on your own, these friendships can become a lifeline.
Even so, many people struggle with trying to make friends, especially as first-time college students. With a few tips at hand, though, you’ll be well prepared to make those lifelong friendships—and, of course, have someone to sit with in the dining hall.
Know what you’re looking for.
Of course, making friends that last a lifetime is an amazing experience, and even those friendships that only last the four years you’re here can be transformative. But what is it you’re looking for in a college friendship? For some people, this may be a deep, emotional connection. For others, they may only need a study buddy or occasional partner-in-crime. Are you up for the challenge of a Pisces and Sagittarius friendship, or do you want your friendship to be easy? Pisces, then, might do better with their fellow water signs, while Sag might try to connect with an Aries or Leo.
Be open to changes and surprises.
When it comes to making friends, nothing really follows a particular script. So, it’s important that you acknowledge the possibility of change as your friendships develop. You might be surprised to find that that Sagittarius sitting next to you in chem is actually a great match to your Pisces self, for instance. Or, on the flip side, you might find yourself feeling like you don’t really fit in at a school you thought was your dream. In that case, you might turn to an admission expert who can help you find a better fit at a school where you’ll succeed both academically and socially.
Find activities that interest you.
One of the easiest ways to connect with like-minded people on your college campus is to take on clubs, teams, and other extracurricular activities that align with your own passions or hobbies. Whether you join a club that’s similar to the one you enjoyed in high school or you step into something entirely new, you’re sure to find peers who’ll connect with you on at least this one shared interest, and likely a few more. If the first team you join doesn’t feel right, try another!
Leave your comfort zone.
Perhaps most importantly, it’s essential to leave your comfort zone. This applies not just to making friends in college but, really, to the college experience as a whole. Leaving your comfort zone can be terrifying, but it’s almost always an experience that changes your life for the better, whether that’s with a new relationship or simply strengthening your connection with yourself. Find ways to do the things that scare you or something that you never even thought was within your realm of possibility. Either way, it’s sure to pay off.
College is a major milestone that comes with lots of change. It’s easy to feel isolated and homesick amidst this transition, especially if you’re struggling to make new friends. However, there are a few methods you can employ to help make better connections with your peers, from choosing the best school for you in the first place to finding a shared interest in anything from astrology to lacrosse. Whether this leads to a lifelong connection or a short-term relationship is still to be determined, but in either case, you can rest assured that you’ll leave school having been changed by these types of connections.