Movies and TV shows portray college to be the best four years of your life. You’re supposed to meet your lifelong best friends right?
Well, in my experience it doesn’t happen as quickly as it does in the movies.
So today I’m here to tell you my experience and give you some tips to hopefully make it easier on you.
But before I start, I should mention that I’ve never had much luck with making friends until college and it happened by pure coincidence, so do with that what you will.
(I should also mention that I’m a commuter so making friends was much harder than I imagined.)
Anyways, I’ll start from the beginning which was freshman orientation. I met a few nice people before the semester started, then had a long summer break and I failed to stay in touch with any of them.
Get people’s snapchats, phone numbers, instagrams, whatever method you prefer for communication. This will make it so much easier when the semester does start so you’re not sitting alone in the dining hall. (Although I don’t blame anyone for keeping to themselves because social anxiety is definitely real.)
My first semester of freshman year I made a few friends in my classes but nothing really stuck and that’s okay.
I was involved in a community service grant which kept me pretty busy and allowed me to meet all kinds of people in my year.
I know it’s a cliche but getting involved in clubs and organizations on campus can be helpful when trying to meet new people.
As usual, I waited until the last moment to complete my service hours for the year and had to drive myself 40 minutes from home to finish my hours.
There were other students from my school at the nursing home I was volunteering at and I met this one girl who almost passed out.
That girl turned out to be one of my best friends and introduced me to all of my current best friends. But I won’t get ahead of myself just yet.
I ended up giving her a granola bar and driving her back to campus since I was the only one with my car. I was nervous because I had a stranger who was about to pass out in my passenger seat but she seemed nice so I took a chance.
Maybe don’t let strangers in your car but it worked out for me so I say do this at your own risk.
We talked about random things like our love for Khalid, who was performing at our school that Spring semester, classes, and our love for smoothie bowls.
As I was dropping her off I nervously asked for her snapchat because she seemed genuine and fun to talk to.
We slowly became friends over that Spring semester and hung out a few times. She introduced me to her best friend, who I quickly became friends with.
This all happened right at the end of Spring semester and then we had summer break. I made sure to stay in touch this time and couldn’t wait to hang out with them more in the Fall semester.
I’ll speed up the rest for you but I met the rest of their friend group and we all clicked instantly. Now it's been over a year and we still hang out together all the time.
Who would have known that the girl who almost passed out in a nursing home would lead me to my best friends.
Although it sounds like everything worked out, it still took until the end of my freshman year to meet them and up until then I was riding solo.
Friendships come up in the strangest ways so be open to new experiences and have fun.
I think it’s important to realize that everything takes time and things happen when they should. Easier said than done but be patient and be yourself.
Here are a few more tips I feel needed to be included:
Start off conversations with people by complimenting them or talking about something interesting. Saying “i’m cold” or “i’m so tired” is boring and doesn’t give you much to work on.
Don’t be afraid to ask new people to hang!! It’s not weird, trust me. They probably want to and are just too scared to ask.
Make an effort to go to campus activities. I know they might seem boring but you might meet some cool people.
And last but not least.
Be yourself. Cheesy I know. But it’s true, it’s exhausting trying to be someone you’re not so don’t waste your energy.
Goodluck, and just remember, no one really knows what they're doing.