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How to Make Friends in College (Even If You’re Socially Awkward)

If only life could be as easy as the times when we were children, right?

When friends were pretty much guaranteed from the get-go, even if they did drift off as we got older. But now in this crazy time called “adulthood,” you have probably found it is significantly more difficult to find your people.

Between classes, homework, actual work, maybe a breakdown here and there – there isn’t a lot of time to find friends.

And when you have different factors going on like being a transfer, being an introvert, or living off-campus, it may be a little more difficult to navigate how to make friends in these types of situations.

We came up with 15 awesome ways to teach you how to make friends in college without having to give up on all that time spent on homework!

How to Make Friends in College

How to Make Friends in College When You’re Shy

Trying to figure out how to make friends in college as an introvert? Here are some ways that don’t require you to go too far out of your comfort zone.

1. Utilize Your Group Assignments

Not every group project has to be a drag! Meeting people doesn’t have to be you going out of your way, but just speaking up. When you’re in a group project next, see if there is anything you can bond over with other people in your group.

2. Use Your Dorm

If you live on campus, use your dorm to your advantage! If you have roommates, you can easily bond with them around your dorm by suggesting a Netflix night in your living room/bedroom or a game night!

Or maybe you’re a killer baker and would like to share some of your creations with everyone in your hall. Or maybe if you see someone walking down to their room, just give a kind smile and a “Hey there!” If anything, it will make their day.

Related: 41 College Dorm Room Must-Haves for Freshman Year

3. Try Out Extracurriculars

From sports teams to art clubs to young politician seminars – there is something for anybody when you’re in college! And you already have a leg up because you already have something in common with everyone around you.

4. Online Forums

More and more, schools are turning to online access as a way of teaching. When that happens, you are more than likely assigned to “talk” to other classmates on these forums about the class. Between that and the probable Facebook group(s) your school has, you can insert yourself in the conversation without the anxiety of being face-to-face.

How to Make Friends as a Commuter Student

5. Utilize the Dining Areas

Pay attention to this one if you live off-campus – take advantage of all the public places at your school like the dining hall. Stop to eat meals with other people and even if you were to sit alone, someone is bound to ask if the seat next to you is taken!

6. Spend the Night (Not All the Time!)

If you already have a friend or two that lives on campus and you commute, go ahead and ask to spend the night every now and then. Just make sure you don’t overstay your welcome. In doing so, you are more likely to meet their other friends or you will see different faces throughout the campus where you can take the opportunity to start up a conversation!

Related: College Relationships: 9 Tips for Dating in College

7. Instigate Hanging Out

You can suggest to the group you are working with for a study hang out at the local coffee shop or your room. You can even ask the girl you have chatted with in Economics if she knows any good places for lunch and invite her out with you.

8. Use Your Classes

We all have to start out with those dreaded, required classes that everyone complains about. There is nothing that bonds people together more than talking about something they just despise, right?! And when you get into your more major-specific courses, you will find like-minded people who get your interests, but can also be thankful to you that you don’t have to take those beginner courses anymore!

9. Get a Job on Campus

You may not feel as if this is super luxurious, but this is a dynamite way to meet people. Whether it be at the coffee shop, bookstore, or even being a tour guide for potential students, there are always tons of people who have to interact with you and you might even meet a friend or two from being a regular at your store!

Other Ways to Make Friends in College

10. Say “Yes”

Mind you, this can be a healthy practice, but don’t fill up your plate more than you need to. If someone you are getting to know asks for a study sesh, say yes! Or if someone in your dorm is having a potluck or just a gathering of people coming over and she invites you, bring over some awesome mac and cheese and enjoy the company.

11. Look Out for Events

If you’re struggling to figure out how to meet people in college then here’s a great solution!

Is there a band coming to play soon? What about a guest speaker? It is a college, so there is bound to be a job fair every few weeks with tons of people with similar interests as you! Work your way into a couple of booths or groups and make yourself known.

12. Do Internships or Research Assistantships

Being a research assistant doesn’t have to be a different way of doing summer school. Instead, it throws you into the stuff you want to go into. In doing so, you can meet a ton of interesting people (in and out of your department) that are just as driven as you are. You will have plenty of opportunities to meet others at social events and even being taken off-campus for internships.

13. Organize an Event Yourself

For all you extraverts who like to go above and beyond, try planning a weekend event yourself. Even if you are more introverted, offer to help someone planning an event with marketing or handing out flyers so you can be at the forefront of interacting with lots of different people.

14. Plan Out Your Weekends

Don’t hold yourself up in your room playing video games or being on your phone the entire time. Make sure you are getting out of your dorm every weekend for a couple of hours so you can actually engage with others – or at least have the probability to do so. Stick around campus, hang out in the courtyard, and just keep changing the scenery!

Related: 10 Challenges College Students Face (And How to Deal With Them)

15. Be Yourself

Yes, of course it’s cheesy – but it’s true. The more you are yourself and not changing to impress others, the better and healthier your friendships will be. You will find your tribe, it may not be the first week of school, but if there is something we know it is that birds of a feather stick together and they will flock soon enough.

Just believe in yourself and be your authentic self!


There’s something else you need to know…

As you go through college, you will make friends and you’ll lose friends.

Some of your friends will stick with you throughout college and then beyond… and some are only for a season.

Don’t be afraid to let those temporary friendships go because you’re afraid of being lonely.

It’s always best to be yourself and find friends you care about you.


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Written by The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis is a lifestyle blog about the journey of college to adulting. Here you can find the tips for college, self-improvement, adulting, and more.

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