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Making Friends at College: An Ongoing Process

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Don't worry. You'll find pals in no time!

Don't worry. You'll find pals in no time!

Making friends at college can be daunting, and I was really nervous about it before I started school.

On the first day, I tried the classic trick of leaving my dorm room door open. Some people on my floor did say hi as they walked by, but my door was right across the hall from the bathroom. I kept making awkward eye contact with people as they left the bathroom — not the best time to start up a conversation with someone.

I did go to a trivia night with one girl who wandered past my door, but we quickly realized we didn't have anything in common. We didn't seem to agree on a lot of things and when we won a bag of candy for answering a trivia question right, she said that she didn't eat candy. I knew if that was true, we wouldn't relate on much.

After reading a book alone at a few meals, I decided at lunch one day to ask if I could sit next to somebody. The college was throwing an orientation cookout, so most people were sitting on the grass in big groups. I was so nervous, because I'm typically very shy, but I picked a small group of girls who didn't seem too intimidating and asked to sit with them.

Of course, I spilled my potato salad all over myself when I sat down, but I regrouped and made a joke to break the ice. I'm still good friends with one of the girls I met that day and I don't think I would have met her if I hadn't asked to sit with her. I asked to sit with someone a couple other times, and while I met a few people I never really talked to again, I didn't spill anything else on myself and met a few good friends that way.

I met more people who I had things in common with as I began classes, because we were studying similar topics, and had to work together on projects. And while I was lucky and found a great set of friends early in my freshman year, as a sophomore, I continued to meet people as I tried joining some clubs.

I joined the Ski and Snowboard Club. I didn't know how to ski, but another girl was just learning how to ski too, and she turned out to be in my English class the next semester. It was a fun way to meet somebody and learn something new.

I also joined the school paper and met a bunch of people I really related to as fellow writers and journalists.

While making friends at college can seem tough, everyone finds the place where they belong, even if it takes a couple tries before you get there. I found that, through a good mix of doing things I like to do and breaking out of my comfort zone, I was able to create a great social circle.

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