Freshmen tend to feel a number of emotions heading off to campus.
Many are excited about living on their own and new adventures, while others are worried about courses and expectations.
What’s more, they tend to be overwhelmed by meeting new people and fitting in.
If you can relate to these emotions, it’s OK and completely normal. You may know only a few people or you may not know anyone on campus. With a few tips, you can ensure meeting people during your freshman year is easier.
1. Realize everyone feels the same.
Everyone else coming onto the campus for the first time feels the same as you do. They also want to find friends and get to know people. Let this be a good sign that you can step out of your comfort zone and interact with those you come into contact with during your first year. In other words, relax. Everyone is in the same boat!
2. Be outgoing.
Even if you are shy, you’ll want to turn as much charm on as possible. It’s not easy to do, but the most outgoing individuals are most likely to do well finding new friends. Here are some tips:
- Ask a hallmate to go with you to the dining hall. You don’t want to go alone, and there’s no risk in asking.
- Be a part of the activities happening that first week of school. Don’t stay in your room!
- Be the first person to introduce yourself at student orientations. Smile!
3. Have a heart to heart with your roommate.
Even if you do not have a lot in common, you will be living with this person for the first year of your college career. For this reason, you’ll want to really get to know your roommate and set the tone for a good relationship. Decorate your space together, perhaps even go to a local store together to get supplies. You’ll also want to encourage other roommates nearby to be a part of your group.
4. Buy some food and share.
If you have a bit of money to spend, make or buy food during that first week at school. Even if it is just pizza or you bake some cookies, college students love free food. Encourage people in your hall to come together to share it, too. This is a great way to draw people out of their rooms to meet one another. It can help you to get to know a lot of people quickly.
5. Be open to invitations.
There are plenty of other people doing the same thing you are — looking for ways to connect. Do your best to say yes to invitations: Get lunch with someone you just met. Say yes to that party, too. You can make decisions about the people later. For now, see it as a way to get to know more people.
6. Be a part of the organizations on campus.
When you arrive on campus, many organizations and programs will likely try to recruit you. It may be tempting to sign up for everything, but instead, hold back a bit. Choose a few organizations that you are truly interested in. This gives you a good chance of finding other people who share the same types of passions and interests. This can help you form better relationships during those first months.
7. Stand out by being yourself.
Whatever it is that makes you unique, now is the time to show it off. Your personality will come through when you host game nights, a scary movie night or join an unusual club.
Most importantly, when it comes to making friends at school, be approachable. Smile. Remember the names of the people who greet you. Find common ground with other students in your classes. Keep your eyes and head up, looking for a new person to talk to whether it is your first or last day as a freshman.