As most of us “oldtimers” know, college is one of the best times of our lives. Besides the parties and events that we indulge in, one of the most important things about it is that we get to make a lot of friends and, hopefully, with most of them we’ll keep in touch for years to come.
Best ways to become a social god during college and university
The college environment really is one of the easiest places to make friends. You’re surrounded by thousands of peers, most of whom are open to meeting people.
Unfortunately, not all of us have inborn skills to socialize in the most efficient way so we’re here to give you a helping hand.
Let’s take this a step at a time…
If you’re on the more introverted side, be aware that pretty much everyone feels at least a little nervous, awkward, and overwhelmed when they meet new cool people. Only a few people are able to go through the whole college experience without any effort and confidently.
Remember that not everything is as hard as you imagine it to be
Most people are understandably worried about whether they’ll be able to make friends in college. But sometimes you might get anxious beforehand, but once you arrive for that first week of school you find everything just seems to work out.
This probably happens because you’ve always shied away from social outing and didn’t know that you had some social skills and positive traits under the surface.
Put yourself in places where you know you can find people with similar interests and tastes
Some colleges will hold orientation or information events in the weeks and months prior to the school year officially starting. If you can make it to these you may get the chance to get to know a few people from your program ahead of time.
ALso, the online life will probably be pretty active, the university will surely have a Facebook group or something of that sort, where you can reach out to some of your classmates who have also joined the page, or there may be threads started about people meeting up.
Try to visit and get familiar with the campus and surrounding area ahead of time
This won’t be feasible for everyone, but it can take away from all of that built up anxiety if you’ve already visited the school and know your way around a little. It’s one less thing you have to worry about. Also, it can give you a bit of a leg up if you’re the person who can show people where things are, or if you can say, “Oh, how about we all go to Place X tonight? I know it. It’s good.”
Go to newbie/freshman events
This is basically the first orientation/initiation/partying week for the incoming freshmen before classes start, usually organized by older students. There are lots of other students from your faculty to meet here so go to as many events as you can. Over the week you’ll also start to see the same people at different activities, giving you more of a chance to get to know them.
The week can seem a bit overwhelming and crazy and partying-focused. This is one situation where I’d advise people to go anyway, push their comfort zones, and try to make the best of it. It’s an experience you’ll only get to do once, and there are a lot of benefits to going. Not all of the activities are pub crawls either. Universities realize not every student drinks, or is legally allowed to drink, and will try to accommodate them with non-partying activities.
Chat to whoever you want to, since it’s okay to do so
Sometimes people have the attitude that they can’t just chat to people they don’t know because it’s bothering the other person, or that it’s just a weird, inappropriate thing to do. Generally, that’s a false idea, but when it comes to university students, then it’s most certainly false.
It’s a free for all in terms of meeting new people and trying to get to know them. Start conversations with whoever you want to. If you’re in the auditorium to hear some presentation about Campus Safety, say hello to the people sitting beside you. Chat to the people walking with you when you’re at a Frosh Week event. Talk to other students in the elevator in your residence.