Making friends comes easier and more natural to some than others. Indeed, most individuals like the company of other individuals except for the introvert, but making friends can seem nerve wrecking for some and even downright scary to others.
For those who had bad experiences trying to make friends in high school, trying to regain confidence to attempt the same feat in college can be daunting but in fact it is generally easier to make friends in the college years then almost any other life stage.
The first step is to get out there. Many people who would like to make more friends do not put themselves in the position to acquire new connections. If you want to make new friends you are going to have to put yourself in a position to. That means leaving the confines of your dorm/apartment alone and getting out into the campus. Frequent areas where students congregate such as the library, cafeteria, coffee shops and gym etc. and look for people you have seen before. For many it will be easier to strike up a conversation with a person of the same gender than one of the opposite gender. That’s not a problem. Gain confidence by talking to people who seem inviting and do not be afraid to ask or answer questions. You’re interested in getting to know the person, questions are normal in such a situation.
Adopt an inviting attitude. If you want people to approach you, you must carry an inviting attitude. Take that scrawl off your face, if you have one, and replace it with a smile or at least a pleasant demeanor. Have you ever heard someone comment that when they first saw a person they thought they were stuck up? Generally this stems from the persons mannerism. If you always have your hands folded, your face shows lack of emotion or you are always sitting by yourself, you will not display a demeanor that invites people to get to know you, so loosen it up a bit.
Getting to know your classmates is one of the easiest ways to make new friends. You share classes, you probably share majors and most naturally you are within the same class standing and age group. This is the perfect situation to strike up a conversation. Striking up a conversation with a classmate does not have to be hard. Make an excuse to talk to them such as ask them a question about the lecture, the homework or a class assignment. Another great way is to arrange a time to study for a test or work on homework together (if the professor permits it).
Do not be intimidated by others. People might appear differently than who they really are. If you are serious about making friends, you’re going to have to adopt the “I don’t care what they think” attitude. Of course not everyone will be friendly but the vast majority of people will not be rude about it as college is generally a more mature environment then that of high school.
Joining clubs or other student led organizations is another great way to make new friends. Not only are you meeting and getting to know new people, they share a common interest with you. If you are the leader type, start a group or club and find people to join. Granted this is easier said than done but with the help of others you can get something going.
Attend intramural games. Not only can you meet a lot of new people, it’s a fun place to relax from class work. Try and sit with people who are rooting for the same person/team as you are, instant connections can be formed and don’t be afraid to get into the game.
In the end, making friends in college will require determination and the effort. Even if you are not the outgoing type of person, you can change that. The key is to not be concerned with what people think of you as. Depending on the size of your college or university, many of the people you share class with or you see in the cafeteria, you might not see again for a while and as long as you don’t make an utter fool of yourself your impression will not be the greatest of your worries.
The number one reason why most people fail at making friends is that they do not try. If you are going to succeed in making friends in college, you are going to put some effort into it. Do not be as concerned about what people think of you as you are concerned of what you think of them.