Nine Ways to Make Friends in College Starting Your Very First Day

With college starting soon, it can be nerve-wracking thinking about going away to school and not knowing anyone. Here are some easy ways to get to know other students and make friends in the dorm during move-in and the beginning of the school year! 

two girls in college
Here are ways to make friends in college that helped me as a first-year student. (Twenty20 @meganmeza)

Nine easy ways to make friends in college

1. Leave your door open

Leaving your door open shows other students that you are open to meeting new people and making new friends. Students sometimes knock on your door and say “hi” or ask if you want to hang out. It is much more welcoming and inviting when your door is open in your room. 

2. Say “hi” 

Saying “hi” when walking by other students in the dorms, even if you don’t know them, is a great way to show you are friendly and open to making new friends! You convey that you are making an effort to meet new people. You can also compliment them, comment about something in the dorm, or ask how they are doing as you walk by. 

3. Go door to door and introduce yourself 

This is a fun way to get to know the students on your floor. One thing that I did was introduce myself and give out homemade chocolate-covered strawberries to everyone on my floor. You don’t have to give something out, but I know other students that gave out candy to people on their floor, and it can be a fun way to stand out within the dorms.

4. Start a group chat for people on the floor if the RA hasn’t made one

This is a simple way to introduce yourself to everyone on the floor and get their contact information. GroupMe is an easy way to create this group chat. Being the one to create the group chat will make you known throughout the dorm. 

5. Go to the campus events at the beginning of the year

At the beginning of freshman year, there will probably be many fun events on campus, such as concerts or other events with free food. Try to attend all of these events because these events are expressly set up to help freshmen make new friends.

You can even invite a group on your floor to attend these events together. Something I did as a freshman was text in the dorm group chat and say, “(insert person/people) and I are going to (insert event) at (insert time) if anyone wants to come!” This is a great way to make friends and get to know people better. 

6. Spend time in the common areas during the beginning of the school year 

Spending time in the common areas is an easy way to meet and get to know other students. You can study in the common areas or watch television (if there is a TV) and talk to people when they walk in! 

7. Say “yes” to hanging out with people

If you are invited to go somewhere, say yes! Making friends in college is so vital to maintaining good mental health. As a college freshman, I often said no to going places with people because I wanted to focus on school or studying. However, making these friendships and saying yes to hanging out with people would have improved my college experience that first year. 

8. Keep an open mind

Even if the people you meet are not people you would see yourself being friends with, keep an open mind and give everyone a chance. You never know who could end up being your best friend or could lead you to your next job opportunity. Networking is a huge part of college, so being kind to everyone you meet is very important. 

9. Invite people to do things with you

If you are bored or lonely, invite someone to hang out! College is much more fun when you have people to do fun activities with. Some things you can invite people to do with you include going to the dining hall, getting coffee, going for a hike/walk, going to the gym, attending a student club meeting, studying at the library, or attending a campus sporting event. Also, if someone in your dorm has a class with you, walking together to and from that class and even studying together can be fun.

Remember that everyone is in the same boat in college, just trying to find their way and make new friends. Although it can be scary and may take a bit of time, you will find your people and have some of the best times of your life.  

More Great Reading:

Letter to My Freshman Self: Nine Regrets I Have From College

About Madeleine Korn

Madeleine Korn is a recent graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After graduating, she worked in marketing for a cybersecurity company for a year and a half. For the past year, she has been traveling the world while volunteering in hostels. Some of the countries she has visited include Portugal, Croatia, Greece, Albania, Cyprus, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and more. You can follow along with her travels on TikTok and Instagram. She loves writing and creating videos and really enjoys working for Grown and Flown!

Read more posts by Madeleine

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