Many student’s worry about finding friends when first go to college. You are going from the comfort and safety of your high school friends to connecting with strangers.
What are the best ways to find new friends in college? The best way is to join a club or organization when at school. I know students that joined a sorority, fraternity, academic, political, theater, religious or maybe a sports club.
I personally had a few friends from my high school that attended the same university as me. Yet, I was still worried about finding friends.
Deep down I really wanted to find a bunch of new friends. I wasn’t interested in just staying close to friends from high school.
College creates a weird situation for those that participate.
This is probably one of the only times in your life when you just are thrown into a new place. College forces you to make new friends.
Making new friends will be different for each individual person. Some people are just better than others at communicating, reaching out, and putting themselves out there to make friends. Don’t worry because college is the best and easiest place to make new friends.
The best thing about college is that you already have a decent number of things in common with many of the people at your school.
- First, you already chose the same college or university that you wanted to attend.
- Second, you are all going to college together.
- Third, students will pick a major so many of them will be in the same major as you.
- Fourth, everyone at the university has the same goal graduate with a degree.
You can always find common things to talk or discuss with other students. Hopefully, you meet enough people enough times and a great friendship starts up.
From personal experience at my school and the stories from my friends and family who are also attending college, it seems that a common theme is that schools have honors, scholars, and learning community programs.
There are also clubs at most colleges for students with disabilities.
They might have different names and titles at each individual school, but overall, they have honors classes. These classes many students will be in the same classes. This is a great chance to meet new people.
These programs are usually for the higher achieving students with the highest GPA and ACT scores from high school.
At my school, at least, the scholar’s programs were more based on your major.
You may live in the same dorms as the other scholars in your program. There can also be just one large overarching scholar’s program instead of many.
A good example is at my school there was the stem scholars, art scholars, business scholars, etc. Both scholar programs are great ways to really get to know people. You’re already put into a place with people who are very similar to you.
Many people will even meet with students who they already know will be in the same program, over the summer before college starts. Some students may start a group message or some sort of group chat for everybody to start to get to know each other before you get to school.
This is an amazing opportunity because you already know a couple faces and names before you get to school. This is also great because you are surrounding yourself with people who are high achievers and are probably going to focus on school as much as you do.
If they’re in the same or similar major they’re going to have a bunch of the same classes with you which makes studying and doing your homework easier.
At my school, what they call learning communities are simply just a way for first-year students to get transitioned into school.
It has nothing to do with academics or scholars it’s just about living in a community with people who have the same interests as you. A lot of them are by major, interests, gender or race.
You don’t have to be a part of any of these programs because they are all optional and you might even have to apply for them. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this and you just want to go in headfirst, then do it.
But if you are looking for some commonality during your first year at college. Then you need to be surrounded by people like you as it pertains to major, goals and work ethic.
I can tell you firsthand that most of my best friends that I’ve made from school after my first year were a part of my scholar’s program. If it weren’t for my scholar’s program, the opportunity to meet people with common goals would have been limited. So just think about it as you head into your first year of college.
Clubs and Extracurriculars
Another great way to meet people I have a lot in common with you is to join clubs and extracurriculars. Most colleges have an abundance of different things to join.
You could join something that has to do with your major and study group. There are a bunch of social and academic groups that might be of interest.
Clubs to join in college
- Cooking club – Everyone needs to learn how to cook better.
- Religious club – Young Life is the one I have heard great things about.
- Club sports – Keeps you in shape and you can swim, play basketball, baseball, flag football, soccer and more.
- Club for your major – Great place to meet people with similar interest.
- Sorority/Fraternity – You can meet a ton of people through these organizations. I had a bunch of friends join and they loved it.
- Outdoor club – The name says it all.
- Political clubs – If you really like politics.
- Theater and arts – You want to be an actor, this is the club for you.
- Academic clubs – Based on the area you are studying in school.
- Variety of clubs – There are a ton of other clubs which include bowling, pep band, engineer, science, fencing, French, Spanish, German, jazz band, Jiu-Jitsu, Tae Kwon Do, self-defense and the list goes on.
Check your university for the cubs they offer. Should I play varsity or intramural sports in college may help you with joining an athletic club.
I’m a business major, I’m still involved with clubs that have to do with Music because Music is an interest of mine. A club is just a great way to meet people outside of your major that you still have things in common with.
There is the typical thing such as Greek life which is sororities and fraternities that you can join. Some schools even have academic sororities and fraternities that are more academic base than social.
If you’re in a business major, you can always join a business fraternity which is focused a lot on networking, and they have a social aspect.
There are just so many ways for you to find a group of people you can relate to. Like I said earlier, especially if you’re coming from a small high school joining some sort of club or extracurricular will help.
Going to a large university is an amazing experience full of a lot of amazing opportunities, however, some people feel that it’s harder for them to find a group of friends because there are so many people to choose from and to deal with.
Sometimes schools will have events the first month or so of the school year that will showcase all the different clubs or events.
The university I attend calls it the involvement fair.
Basically, at the center of campus, every student organization sets up their booths and talk to students about their clubs and why they should join. It can be a very overwhelming event especially if you came from a small high school.
For instance, at my college, there are over 1100 student clubs and organizations. However, there is no better place to figure out where you might belong.
You can sign up for as many clubs as you like, and you only have to actually go to the ones that you decide you want to attend. Put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to try out as many clubs as you can when you first get to college.
After you attend each one a couple of times, you’ll figure out which ones you want to stick with, and you can just let the other ones go. Conclusion
Don’t miss out on great friends and opportunities just because you’re afraid. It comes down to something that is simple. The best way to make friends at college is to be involved. You can expect to make a bunch of lifelong friends by just taking the step forward to join a club.
You’re now an adult, and in order to get what you want, you’re going to have to do something. Even though it is scary, and it might suck sometimes, it will be worth it in the end and you’ll probably make friends that will last you a lifetime.