How to Make Friends in College

How to Make Friends in College

College can be one of the most enriching times of your life, yielding friendships that will last a lifetime and providing connections that will be valuable in your professional life.

There are many ways to create friendships in college that are more than trading class notes, although that is always a good place to start. Some of the strongest college friendships solidify around a class that is difficult, or has a professor who expects more from students than many are capable of giving.

The first thing to do is check for a class website or message board. You can connect with other students, form study or project groups, and trade insights there.

Another good way to make friends is to get involved with the department your major falls under. If you are a business major, for example, you might sign up to assist one of the department’s counselors or professors, or join student groups sponsored by the Business department. This activity will not only help you gain like minded friends, but will make sure you are known to the Powers That Be when it comes to getting recommendations to graduate school.

You can also make it your business to get involved in student government or with the student union. Joining student government is a good way to network, which can lead to friends – they always need people to sit on committees. In addition to friendships, this will help you learn the ins-and-outs of dealing with recalcitrant administrations – an invaluable skill in the professional or business worlds. Student unions are the bodies responsible for running most of the social events on campus.

Speaking of student groups, there is usually a fair at the beginning of the school year, where all the student groups on campus make representatives available to talk with new students. This is a great place to check out various groups and do some preliminary networking.

There are also various service groups on campus that perform things such as tutoring, translation, facilitation between professors and students, etc. These groups always need volunteers – such as fluent English speakers to help international students by talking with them so they learn English faster, assisting with the food bank, or working with the student newspaper etc. These are all good ways of networking and making new friends.

Finally, there are sports, both organized and recreational, which are excellent ways of meeting like-minded people, as well as of keeping fit and healthy. Membership on teams, or in athletic clubs is an excellent way, also, of blowing off steam after studying.

There are almost as many ways to make lasting friendships in college as there are students on your campus. The main thing to remember is that you need to be active in order to meet the people who will become your friends, both now and beyond graduation.