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

With college starting in just a few months, it can be nerve-wracking thinking about going away to college 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! 

college student moving in
Here are nine ways to make friends in college. (Twenty20)

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 will sometimes knock on your door and say “hi” or ask if you want to hang out. It is much more welcoming and inviting when you have your door open when you are 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 that 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 going on 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 all of the students on your floor. One thing that I did was I introduced myself and gave 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 tons of fun events on campus such as concerts or other events with free food. Try to go to all of these events because these events are specifically set up to help freshmen make new friends.

You can even invite a group of people on your floor to go to 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 more 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 in there) and also just 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 important to maintaining good mental health. As a college freshman, I would often say no to going places with people because I wanted to focus on school or studying but making these friendships and saying yes to hanging out with people would have made my college experience so much better 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 such a huge part of college, so it is very important to be kind to everyone you meet. 

9. Invite people to do things with you

If you are ever feeling bored or lonely, invite someone to hang out with you! College is so 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 going to a campus sporting event. Also, if someone in your dorm has a class with you, it can be fun to walk together to and from that class and even study together.

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 it 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 will be a senior communication student at UC Santa Barbara. She was an intern for United Airlines in both 2018 and 2019, where she was involved in projects to improve the customer experience. This past year she was advertising director for The Bottom Line newspaper at UC Santa Barbara. She loves writing and creating videos and is very excited about being an intern at Grown and Flown.

Read more posts by Madeleine

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