Best Ways To Make Friends In College And Form A Real Bond

Our cheat sheet will help you make real, strong, and long-lasting friendships in college.

Reviewed by Ronald Hoang, Relationship & Family Counselor
Written by Shivani Chandel, MA (English Literature), Certified Relationship Coach
Edited by Subhrojyoti Mukherjee, MA (English)
Fact-checked by Sneha Tete, Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach  • 

Students are excited about a new beginning in college towards the end of schooling. But adapting to college life can be difficult if you lack good company or feel friendless. Therefore, learning how to make friends in college is imperative. Unfortunately, developing new friendships is not everyone’s cup of tea, especially if they are not great at striking conversations. So, how do you overcome this? Read our article for the best and easy ways to make friends at college. Keep reading.

Easy And Best Ways To Make Friends In College

Different ways to make friends in college
Image: Shutterstock

You might meet plenty of peers and classmates once you step into college, but the real bond of friendship can develop only when you connect personally. People come from different walks of life, and they hold different definitions of friendship.

protip_icon Quick Tip
W.B. Yeats, the Irish poet, once said, “There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t yet met.” It means that if you want to make new friends, you have to start considering everyone as potential friends and not strangers.

According to survey responses from 1000 participants, in the context of meeting someone new one-on-one, 50% believe extroverts have more advantages, while 14% think introverts do. Similarly, in the case of meeting a new group of people, 69% believe extroverts have more advantages, with only 8% attributing such advantages to introverts. But don’t be daunted by these numbers, because we have got your back.

If your quest is to find ways to make friends in college, read on.

How To Make Friends With Girls In College

You need to bring yourself out of your shell and devote time and energy to making female friends in college. Girls are great observers, and so, you need to work on making things noticeable. Here’s how you can develop a friendly attitude towards girls.

  •  Say Yes To Invitations: Respond positively (definitely depending upon situations) to invitations, as a negative answer might stop you from mingling with acquaintances and establishing friendships.
  •  Find Things In Common: Girls like to be connected with people when things feel common. So, try to connect with girls based on their topic of interest. Who knows, you can be close friends grounded on common platforms!
  •  Discover Groups: Connections develop while interacting in groups. Find common groups like church meetings or alumni lunches where you can get more opportunities to discover girls and interact publicly.
  •  Initiate Genuine Conversations: Bonding over conversations is something that girls hold dearly. Initiate a conversation regarding a lecture or hobbies to break the ice and become friends with a girl. You can also help them out if she approaches you with a problem. Honest conversations and listening from the perspective of a girl can surely develop your bond.
protip_icon Pro Tip
Favorite movies, songs, or travel destinations make for easy conversation starters. Remember to ask open-ended questions at first that increase the scope of your conversation. Once you get to know someone a little better, you can ask them more personal questions.

Introverts always prefer a calm and soothing environment with less socialization. Not all of them are shy, but they often face difficulties while making new friends in college. Here are some tips to initiate friendships for introverts.

How To Make Friends In College As An Introvert

How to make friends in college as an introvert
Image: Shutterstock
  •  Connect With Fellow Mates Online: Attending classes and sharing desks with strangers in college can be difficult initially, especially when you are new to the environment. However, you can connect with your fellow mates on social platforms to strike up a conversation that might develop into a friendship.
  •  Hang Out After Lectures: Spend quality time with your classmates in a café or the campus before returning home. This will help you get to know more people and make friends. After some initial hangouts, you will be free to talk to them, and the effort will feel worth it.
  •  Look For Peripheral Persons: As introverts, you may want to stay segregated as much as you can, right? So, look for friends who opt for the same and like to stay away from the crowd. This will make it easier for you to connect with them.
  •  Join Cultural Groups: Introverts often find it difficult to meet new friends and interact with seniors. Cultural groups are the best place to make friends. It also helps to relate with an aesthetic sense of cultural programs and the like.
  •  Identify A Study Buddy: Introverts always like it their way. So, why not identify someone who is a bookworm just like you? You can make good friends and hang out in the library as well.

Ayush Gupta, a blogger, says that he is an introvert and that he faced the challenge of making friends in college. He wrote, “I knew I had to find more ways to be involved to make friends. I tried *everything* to find my place. I tried out for sports that I never would have imagined playing. I joined organizations that put me far out of my comfort zone and later discovered they were not beneficial for me (i).”

Apart from these, making small talk can go a long way in opening up the scope for making friendships and developing relationships. While many people hate small talk, as they feel it may lead to awkward silences. But learning to small talk and building that conversation is an important part of making friends.

College goers hunt for ways to have fun. From spending on lunches to buying tickets for concerts, the presence of friends makes it extra special. Therefore, prioritizing friendships and making them intentional can give the bond a different vista altogether.

How To Make Friends With Intention

How to make friends in college intentionally
Image: Shutterstock
  •  Extend Romantic Friendships: You can intend to make friends with your fellow mates in college. Make small requests to connect romantically and bring a turning point in the relationship. However, do not forward a simple friendship vibe if you have any other intentions.
  •  Be Reasonable: Make sure your intentions are honest and transparent. Reason out your feelings and put your best foot forward to be the way you are. This will help the other party to figure out your intentions of forging friendships. Also, avoiding quick judgments and providing advice can help make you a reasonable friend.
  •  Turn Acquaintances Into Friends: If a new acquaintance gives you positive vibes, try to take it to the next level. Ask them out for a solo dinner or a movie hangout. This will not only address your intention but also help you identify whether you both can be close friends or not.

Young adults desire to make friends and be in a league of their own. However, making new friends in college can be exciting as well as disappointing at the same time. While some might meet your expectations, some cannot align at all. It often gets difficult to cope with the new environment of college and make friends. Nerve-wracking on the one hand and unpredictable and risky on the other, making friends in college isn’t a smooth journey. Check out our next section for some vital tips to make friends in college.

Quick Tips To Connect With People In College

Connect with other students at college to make friends
Image: Shutterstock
  •  Present Your Truest Self: No matter what, expose your friendly nature and open up. Uncover your experiences and interests. This will attract compatible friends towards you in no time.
  •  Introduce Yourself To The Person Sitting Next To You: The best way to make friends is to introduce yourself to the one sitting right beside you. You need to start somewhere – tell something about yourself and let the conversation go with the flow.
  •  Connect Over Social Platforms: Use digital and social media platforms to make connections. Find your classmates on social networks and initiate conversation. It might feel awkward to talk to strangers, especially in a classroom situation. Worry not! Social media platforms will help you get a better sense of the individual outside the class.
  •  Volunteer Friend Time: Hanging out with like-minded people will make you feel secure, confident, and inspired. So, initiate and volunteer your time to develop a passionate and deep conversation with people of similar interests. This will strengthen your bond and encourage each other to come out of your comfort zone.
  •  Bond Over Food: Food brings people closer, and bonding over food is a great way to initiate conversation, especially for introverts. You can also hang out in a café during recess to chill and spend quality time with classmates. Or exchanging coffee for help with the homework can enhance the friendship between you two!
  •  Participate In Group Projects: Group projects are an opportunity to open up yourself and speak to your fellow mates. Introduce innovative ideas for the project, try to mingle with your teammates, and make it a fun activity.
  •  Develop A Rapport: Familiarize yourself with the college environment – speak to the person beside you, organize your post-class tuition schedules, and discuss the syllabus and assignments with your classmates. Try to develop a strong rapport with the class and strike up a conversation with your peers in the dining hall.

Following the suggestions and tips discussed above in this article can help you make friends in college. It is crucial to approach the people with an open heart and honest dialogue. Even if you feel a little out of your comfort zone, you should attempt to converse with individuals around you when you are at a concert, in class, or club with your peers. Accept invitations from classmates, acquaintances, and peers, and make an effort to attend. Finally, do not be scared to take on everything the college offers, even if it gets difficult.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to have no friends in college?

If you are okay with it, it’s absolutely fine. Most introverts and socially awkward people find it hard to make friends quickly. They prefer spending time by themselves.

Why do I feel so alone in college?

It’s common for college students to feel alone, even if they have friends. College can be tough, with each student facing trials, differing from the other. Most teens want to keep a cool front, making it tough for them to open up and share their struggles. This may make them feel alone even when surrounded by people.

Key Takeaways

  • Socializing as much as possible and turning acquaintances into friends is what every student wants as they enter their college life.
  • Although it can be quite challenging for introverts to make friends in college, it is not impossible.
  • Contact your classmates online or look for people with similar behavioral traits. It is important to come out of your comfort zone and engage in group tasks or lunches to establish a social circle.

Watch the following video for a step-by-step guide on making friends in college. It shares some practical tips and strategies to build meaningful connections to help you create lasting bonds during your college years to last even after.

Personal Experience: Source

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