Going off to college is a really exciting new chapter in your life. While new chapters are great, they also come along with things that are not so great, and starting college is no exception. It involves a lot of changes – moving away from home, leaving your high school friends, scheduling your own classes, living with a roommate, and being responsible for yourself, to start. As with many things in life, the experience is better with a friend. But how do you make friends in college when you don’t know anyone?
The good news is that lots of people go to college without knowing a soul. And lots of people leave college having made best friends for the rest of their lives. While meeting people can be intimidating and making new friends can seem like a daunting task, the end results are so worth it – you have someone to study with, to make late-night fast food runs with, to gossip about your new crush with. If you’re living in a dorm with other new students, it can actually be pretty easy to find a new bestie! But if you’re struggling, we’re here to help. Here are 9 tips on how to make friends in a college dorm:
Give Your Roommate A ChanceYour roommate might not end up becoming your best friend, and that's okay! But if neither of you know anyone at school yet, it can be nice to have a built-in partner for attending floor meetings, going to the caf, and exploring campus. Maybe you'll go to an event together and each end up meeting your new group of friends. Just having another person by your side can make you feel more bold and comfortable talking to more new people. Even if it's someone you would normally never be friendly with, try. Source: iStock
Meet Your RADon't think of your resident advisor as someone out to get you in trouble - RAs are there to help! Introduce yourself and get to know them; they can be a great resource for any questions you have about college, whether it's academic or personal. They might introduce you to your best friends, or even become one of your best friends. Their job is to make you feel comfortable, and they'll try to - and if you become close along the way, that's great! Source: iStock
Bond In The BathroomI swear this isn't as weird as it sounds. You run into everyone on your floor in the community bathrooms at some point. Don't overstep any privacy boundaries, but if someone is doing their makeup at the sink, don't be afraid to compliment their eyeliner. Source: iStock
Attend Dorm MeetingsMany schools host meetings for dorms, or specific floors of a dorm, specifically for residents to meet one another. You might have to play awkward icebreaker games, but that doesn't mean they're lame. If you can learn the names of some of your dormmates in a group setting, you'll feel more comfortable approaching them on your own later. Source: iStock
Leave Your Door OpenIt may seem weird at first, since your dorm room is your personal space, but it's actually a highly common practice in residence halls. Leaving your door open will allow people passing by to stop and chat. Don't let it distract you while studying, but if you're just lounging around, leaving your door open may be the way you find someone in your hall who loves watching reality television as much as you do. Source: iStock
Study In Common AreaMany residence halls have common areas with tables and seating where you can hang out or do homework. If you're able to get work done in an environment that will likely have some background noise, set up your books and laptop in public places where you can chat with other students when you need to take a break. You could meet a great study buddy! Source: iStock
Eat In The CafeteriaIt might be tempting to get your food to-go and eat in the solitude of your room, but you won't meet people that way. The college cafeteria isn't like Mean Girls, so don't be afraid of picking the right "clique" to join. Join a group that's having an animated conversation about the merits of Taco Tuesday over Fried Chicken Friday, or sit next to someone who also looks nervous about making new friends. Source: iStock
Go To The Gym To Find A Workout BuddyMany colleges offer free gym membership, and some have various workout classes students can take. Other people in your dorm are probably interested in Zumba or pilates, too - find someone who's up for getting a little sweaty and head to the gym together. It's an easy way to hang out where you don't have to constantly be thinking about what to say, and participating in an activity together is a quick way to bond! Source: iStock
Put Yourself Out There and Ask QuestionsDon't know how to get to the science building? Ask a girl in your hall! Planning a trip to the bookstore? Ask if anyone on your floor wants to join you! Need to borrow some Febreze to fix the unidentified smell coming from your closet since you moved in? Ask your neighbor! You can't always expect others to approach you - take it upon yourself to reach out to people, and you'll make friends in no time. Source: iStock
Which of these tips did you find helpful? How do you make new friends? Tell me in the comments!