*This post is about how to make friends at college*
If you’re looking for a simple and easy guide that will help you make friends at college, then this post is for you.
In high school, I struggled to make friends, and unfortunately, when my classmates were sobbing and saying goodbye to each other at graduation, no one said goodbye to me or “I’ll miss you.”
It’s okay…it gets better.
As such, I was pretty worried about how successful I would be at making friends at college. Nevertheless, I was determined to make friends. I decided that I would place myself in opportunities to make friends, speak up instead of waiting to be spoken to, but most importantly, stay true to me!
Remarkably, the strategies I used to make friends at college worked! I made TONS of friends during my first week of college and many more in the weeks ahead.
Before I knew it, I had people saving me seats in class, asking to sit by me at the cafeteria, calling out to me, or running to talk to me as I walked down hallways and past study lounges, and roommates excited to hear how my day was when I got home.
Best of all, I created meaningful friendships and have kept in contact with many of them to this day.
Now I want to help you do the same. I am confident that if you implement these simple and easy strategies, you’ll make friends at college insanely fast.
Let’s jump in:
1. Start With Your College Roommates
If you don’t have roommates, that’s totally fine.
Just skip down to the number 3. But if you do have college roommates, then you’ll want to implement this strategy right away!!
Starting with your college roommates is the EASIEST and FASTEST way to make friends at college.
By virtue of having college roommates, you already have tons of things in common:
- you go to the same school
- you’re relatively the same age
- you have more or less the same interests: the need to study, the need to eat or cook an affordable meal, the need to keep your dorm/apartment clean, and maybe even a desire to workout
As such, it’ll be really easy to start a conversation and form a friendship.
One of the first things you can do to kick off a conversation with your roommate and begin learning about them is:
- by inviting them to have lunch with you
- doing an icebreaker like a board game
- or by having a roommate meeting to go over chores, boundaries, school schedules, etc.
Keep the conversation light by first asking where they’re from, what their major is, what they want to become, and what do they enjoy doing in their free time.
Then invite them to study with you or eat with you one day.
BONUS: Plan and mark a date of when you and your roommate will meet and hang out next!
2. Go to Dorm/Campus Housing Sponsored Social Events
The next best way to make friends at college is by attending campus housing-sponsored social events.
This is an AWESOME way to make friends because these socials tend to be more intimate since they are reserved only for those who live in your dormitory.
With a smaller crowd, you have the opportunity to get to know EVERYONE in the room.
And my big advice:
Go around to each person and ask these three golden questions:
- What is your name?
- Where are you from? (hometown)
- What is your major?
In addition, you can ask:
- What classes are you taking?
- What year are you? (Freshman – Senior)
- What is your background? (Heritage or Ethnicity)
- Do you live in this dormitory? (Which Floor)
- How was your first week of school?
- Did you go to X event? How did you like it?
I PROMISE you that there will be AT least one thing you two have in common OR that will interest you or the other person about yourselves, which will cause the conversation to move in one direction, and then another, and another.
Before you know it, not only will you two be properly acquainted but a friendship may begin to develop!
In fact, that’s literally all it took for my friend Connie and I to become friends freshman year.
I asked her where she was from and she said, “Sarasota, Florida,” and I freaked out because I lived in Sarasota for a short while before moving to the next city over!
It sounds so simple but we got so excited and bonded instantly over that commonality and agreed to have breakfast together the next morning and every morning after that for the rest of the year.
We are friends to this day and meet up whenever we are in our hometown.
The next reason why attending campus housing-sponsored social events is a SUPER easy way to make friends is because they’re WAY more engaging!!
Unlike a comedy show that attracts hundreds of people but the attention is focused on the person performing, a campus housing-sponsored social event like game night allows you and 1+ people to have a SUPER interactive and competitively fun time together.
And when you’re playing a game, there’s A LOT of talking and a lot of laughter, which will create space for a friendship to naturally form.
Furthermore, the students that you meet at these housing-sponsored socials are going to be the students that you see at college most often:
- at the Cafeteria
- at the gym
- walking to and from your room
- on your way to class
- in the study lounge
- in the library
I had a rule my freshman year and through the years, that if another student and I saw and greeted each other more than three times, that we’re gonna have to call it: we’re friends!
And you can use this rule too!! I PROMISE…it works!
I’ve gained 5 additional friends EASILY this way.
3. Invite Your Classmates To Study With You Or Ask Someone to Be Your Study Partner
Another insanely easy way to make friends at college is to invite 1 or more of your classmates to study with you or be your study partner.
Already, you have something HUGE in common.
You’re in the same class!!!
And because you’re in the same class,
you have the same assignments…
face the same deadlines…
you need to study for the same tests…
As such, you already have TONS to talk about and an opportunity to spend hours and hours working toward one goal: passing the class.
So speak up.
Invite your neighboring classmate(s) to study with you or become your study partner.
From there, your conversations with them will naturally unravel and go in a million and one different directions, and before you know it, create a friendship.
4. Get a Campus Job
Campus Jobs are another insanely easy way to make friends at college.
And if you’re an introvert, taking a campus Job is definitely one of the best ways to make friends in college…
Most jobs on campus require you to work closely together and perform certain jobs or tasks together.
And when you’re working closely together, you are forced to talk.
Depending on the job, you may be required to talk A LOT!!
As such, you’ll eventually come out of your shell and find confidence and comfort to talk to your coworkers and form friendships.
Additionally, because students with campus jobs have more or less the same hours as their coworkers, they have the same hours outside of work to do homework and study.
Balancing work with school life is a challenge that many students bond over.
No one gets their job and the impact it has on their school life like their coworker.
They’re the ones who will welcome study sessions with you for accountability and will spot you when you need to take time off of work to prepare for a hard exam.
As such, these common challenges and opportunities to spend time together making friendships form much easier.
And trust me…the above statement could not be any truer for me:
In my sophomore year of college, I was a Resident Assistant (RAs) who had a tremendous responsibility to make sure that my residents were safe and put on programs that facilitated community.
This job was surprisingly very stressful and my coworkers and I quickly became supportive friends due to the unique challenges we shared as RAs.
There was so much to talk about…
- our bosses
- our residents
- the programs we were planning
- juggling school life with our jobs…
just on and on.
As such, if you need an extra push to make friends at college, getting a campus job is the way to go.
5. Get Involved in a Student-Led Organization Relating to Your Religious Affiliation, Your Ethnic Background, or a Cause that Matters A Lot To You
This is another stupid simple way to make friends at college!!!
As I’ve mentioned above, sometimes all you need is someone who came from the same city as you or shares the same background as you to become instant friends.
When someone shares the same religion as you, or the same ethnic background as you, or are just as passionate about a particular cause as you, there are TONS of things you can rant on and on with that person about since, in that area of interest, YOU CAN RELATE!!
Just ask the magic questions…
“So how did you become a…?”
“How long have you lived here…?”
And watch the conversation roll.
In fact, my roommate during my senior year the dorms gained 3 new friends that way after attending her FIRST environment club meeting.
They connected over what the school was doing to create more awareness about the environment, the importance of recycling, and greenhouse gases, and what they wanted to do to make the school more environmentally friendly.
I too in just ONE meeting hosted by a Christian student organization met someone who is my best friend today because of our shared understanding and desire to grow in Christ.
As such, I know for a FACT, that getting involved in a student organization related to religion, your background, or a cause that matters to you, is a SUPER effective way to make friends at college.
In addition, these types of student organizations specifically seek to create relationships and community through hosting potlucks, outings, fun projects, game nights, deep and open discussions, and more!
For this reason, there is no way you can’t make a friend at college by trying out this strategy.
6. Join Intramural Sports
Finally, another insanely easy way to make friends at college is by joining intramural sports!
Intramural sports is an open-for-all invitation for students of all sports levels and backgrounds to come together, form the teams that they want, and just have fun on the field or gymnasium playing the sport they love.
To join, you don’t need to have your own team and you don’t need to be any good.
Fun fact: I became the LEADER of my own Flag Football Intramural Team, even though I had no idea how to throw a football or how to play flag football. I just thought it would be fun. By the end of the season, my team made it to the Championship Game. We lost that game but my team and I had so much fun and became close friends.
You can simply ask to be on someone’s team and begin conditioning with the team to gear up for two months of fun competition.
And trust me, unless a team is already capped out with players or has formed a team based on a specific interest or commonality (i.e. live in the same dormitory), almost any team you ask (if not any team you ask) will say yes.
So don’t shy away from asking.
Through conditioning and meeting up for practices, you and your team will organically build a friendship and create tons of fun memories you’ll never forget.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it easy to make friends in college?
Yes. Insanely easy. And I provide 5 ways to make friends fast in college:
- start with your college roommates
- attend campus housing-sponsored social events if you live on campus
- Invite a classmate(s) to study with you or become your study partner
- Join a student organization relating to your religion, ethnic background, or cause that matters to you
- Join intramural sports.
Learn more about why these ways are the easiest, most effective ways to make friends in college above.
How can an introvert make friends in college?
The best way for an introvert to make friends in college is by taking a campus job where you are required to interact and complete tasks with other people or attend a social event that super interactive and hands-on, like game night.
Gatherings like these will help you come out of your shell and give you the motivation and confidence to speak to others and build meaningful friendships.
How do you make friends on the first day of college?
Most (if not all) colleges host events on the first day of college to help students get out, hang out, and get to know other students.
Take advantage of this and go!
Then put your best smile on and start asking everyone you meet these great conversation starters:
- What is your name?
- What is your major?
- What do you want to do with your degree?
- Do you live on campus?
- What is your background?
- Where are you originally from?
- What year are you in?
- What’s your schedule like this semester?
- What class are you looking forward to taking?
- Do you know many people here (at this school)?
- Are you a part of any student organizations on campus yet? If not, what organizations are you thinking about joining?
I PROMISE, after asking these questions, you and the other student will have at least one to RANT ON and ON about haha lol.
If you are enjoying the conversation, then don’t be afraid to ask for the other person’s phone number “to keep in touch,” so you can enjoy many more conversations.
Later you can ask to meet up for lunch or at the library to study.
That’s how friendships begin to form!
Do I need to make friends in college?
Yes, you absolutely need friends in college!!! These people will be your lifeline when you need:
- help to study for a test
- some necessary feedback on a presentation or a project you have to present,
- a ride to an important job or internship
- someone to proofread your work
- someone who will spot you food money when you become broke
- someone to give you a character reference for a campus job, an elected position on campus, or an honor society
- and for networking later in life
In the professional world, many people get jobs not because of WHAT they know but WHO they know, so making friends and networking is SO, SO important!!!
Why can’t I make friends?
You may not be making any friends because you’ve been living like an introvert who doesn’t go out and interact with people enough, you go home shortly after class or work ends, or you attend very large events that makes it hard for you to make one on one connections.
If that’s you, I highly recommend that you seek out social events that are more intimate and highly interactive, like game night.
An event like game night will help you start one on one conversations with people without the awkwardness of not knowing what to say because you’ll be talking and laughing about the game.
How To Make friends In College During Covid?
While things are working there way back to normal, you may still find that most of your meetings and events are still held virtually for a little while longer.
If that’s true for you at your college, the absolute BEST way to make friends in college during covid is to invite your friends from class to join you for a virtual study session on Zoom.
It’s much more fun to study with someone then alone so finding someone who will be down to study with you won’t be hard to do.
Later you can also invite them to play games with you on the House Party App.
The next best thing to do is to get involved in student organizations that share your passion or personal goals. You’ll easily find like-minded students who you can work with and hang out with after.
Finally, don’t neglect your roommates if you have some. Invite them to study with you, have lunch, play games, and watch movies. Through spending more and more time together, your friendship will grow into something strong and meaningful!
What do you do when you have no friends in college?
Be more intentional in how you spend your time.
For example, instead of spending your study time alone in your dorm room or in a private study room in the library, invite a friend from class or home to study with you.
Instead of going to the cafeteria by yourself to grab lunch, invite a roommate or a classmate to go with you.
Have free time?
Attend a super interactive social event like game night
Get involved in a student organization related to your religious or ethnic background, or cause of interest.
Meeting someone with a common interest or value is one of the easiest and quickest ways to make friends in college since you can easily start and get carried away talking about something that genuinely interests you and the next student.
*This post was about how to make friends at college*