10 Ways to Make Real Friends in College

Having trouble making friends in college?

Worry not - you're not alone! Making friends at any stage of life is a challenge, especially if you're somewhat shy, introverted, or -- we're just going to come out and say it -- "picky". 

Some think it should be easy to make friends in college since there are so many people around, but that's not true. If anything, the amount of options and directions students are pulled in can make it harder to find someone you can really get along with. 

But listen, you have time pleanty of time. You don't need to transfer. At the end of the day, every college campus is full of young people who want to enjoy themselves, so if you follow a few of our steps you'll be able to find your scene and make awesome friends in no time. 

 

The Tips:

  1. They don’t know you—go easy on the sarcasm: A college acquaintance should know your name, that’s about it. They don’t know your intentions, your history or how much you even like them. You may be use to being sarcastic with your long time high school friends, but with new college friends it’s important to be outwardly kind from the start. Ask questions, take people seriously, and resist any urge to poke fun (at first). 
     
  2. Be trustworthy: Friends are at their best when they’re comfortable, and they’re comfortable when there is trust. Don’t lie to anyone, gossip about anyone or tell a story that, when taken out of context, will make people think you’re not trustworthy.
     
  3. Get the digits: One of the most initially awkward things about college is asking someone for their phone number. It feels unnatural, forced, and with a strange romantic implication—but it is essential. Even if you only talked to someone for a few minutes, if you thought they were cool then it never hurts to get their phone number. 
     
  4. Talk to people in class: The only thing worse than a silent classroom is when someone says “why is it so quiet?” To avoid this, a suggestion is to simply talk to the person next to you. “Have you heard anything about this teacher?” “Do you know anything about this class?” Making a classroom friend has double value since they can be a study buddy, so try not to sit silent (until the teacher starts teaching).
     
  5. Love thy neighbor: When it comes to campus buildings, some floors are social floors and others just aren’t. If people don’t tend to congregate on your floor, then get to know individuals and their roommates. That kid you always see in the elevator could be into comic books just like you (and shy about it just like you!).  
     
  6. Join clubs: When you join a club, you immediately meet new people with common interests and plans. Whether you want to snowboard or boycott a clothing company, having common goals creates a strong bond between initial strangers.
     
  7. Never eat lunch alone: Breakfast is fickle and dinner is vague but in college lunch is always the time in which you consume food in the middle of the day. It will usually be fitted between classes, so it’s important to find a lunch buddy that has the same schedule as you. Just like in high school it’s an important time to unwind and pour out the ideas and opinions you’ve accrued since morning. Going straight to your dorm to eat in secret or planting yourself in front of a TV is a bad habit to develop and may lead to indigestion.
     
  8. Be accountable: It’s easy to be funny and adventurous, but when someone is really in trouble they need a friend who is accountable. Let a new friend know that they can call you if they are ever lost, stuck somewhere they don’t want to be, or are totally screwed for that test on Monday.
     
  9. Invite people: With the ongoing of classes, parties and campus events, acquaintances become abundant. A good way to cross that line from “I know that kid” to “that’s my friend” is to be inviting. When you know of a good party going on, share the wealth. When you and one other person are having lunch, invite a third. Until you actively invite someone somewhere you aren’t really friends and he or she is less likely to in turn invite you places.
     
  10. Why you shouldn’t be worried: Let’s say you’re a nerd, socially awkward, overly ambitious, unfunny or whatever week and vague characterization you can come up with...do really think that out of the thousands of people at your school there will be no one else the same as you? Not only will the odds of you finding a match be outstanding, but conversely you will be revered for your oddities. Most 16 year olds aren’t good at befriending people with silly accents, foreign nationalities, or introverted personalities—college students are. In fact, they thrive at it. You will too. 

 

College Advice College Life What to Expect

A party school is usually a party school because it’s big and has a lot of money. Solo-cups aside there are a lot of good reasons to go to a big school with a lot of money. 

These schools tend to have good sports teams, good housing, good food, beautiful campuses, great teachers, tons of school pride and a lot of chances to make long lasting professional connections. And a plethora of good friends too, of course.

You know what’s more important than knowing the school you’re applying to? Knowing yourself. Because the reality is, you don't need to have heard of the school for it to be a good fit. The best boyfriends or girlfriends aren’t always the popular ones. They're just the ones you haven't gotten to know yet. 

There is more than one way to give a grade. When Forbes comes up with their 50 Top American Colleges, like they have for the past seven years, you must understand that their opinion isn’t absolute.

If you pay attention you’ll see that the list starts with no scaling system to support their choices and that even in the description of the colleges, popular statistics such as Graduation Rates and Student Diversity aren’t mentioned (at least not consistatnly). Neither, as you’ll notice, are tuition rates.

Okay, here’s my intro for the day—Free Stuff. Do I have your attention? Do I?

What kind of free stuff? Free summer stuff! Because everyone knows that the only way to close out a Summer is to drape yourself in an oversized sunhat and sip Starbucks Ice Tea until you levitate.

Every day between now and July 31st at 5 p.m. you can enter the Starbucks Brew Your Own Summer contest to win prizes from three different Summer Survival Kits: Summer Entertaining, Summer Fun, and Summer Style.

There are several things that change instantly from high school to college, like a caterpillar to a winged fairy insect. One of those things is that people stop judging you for taking school seriously. No one is a nerd in college. No one is a suck up in college. No one has to be told to stop messing around during class, because nobody ever is messing around during class.

Any good writer (or any writer trying to get a good grade) will know that the researching process makes or breaks a paper. You chop through an Amazon of online readings, collecting and jotting down game changing facts, stats and quotes in order to support your awesome ideas and tug at your teachers rubric heart strings.

The nightmarish ending to this journey is one we all know. 

Freshmen make mistakes. Lots of them. But other people's experiences can help you avoid a few. 

Ask an upperclassman or college graduate what words they associate with “freshman” and we guarantee you that “clueless” shows up near the top of the list. It’s not the freshman’s fault. For the most part, going to college is a totally new experience. And having new experiences means making a whole bunch of new mistakes.

The year was 1776 and the American colonists were too busy fighting a war against the imperialist nation of England to be going to college. There was no American History gen-ed at the time—they had to make it first. 

Every summer break from college I made sure to go to at least one music festival. This time last year I was driving up to Michigan to the Electric Forest Festival where egos disappear and people are quite truly transformed.

Traveling to a festival and camping on the grounds is a part of the experience, but it's also kind of the worst part of the experience. But what if you lived close enough to be able to go home each night or head home during the show to shower and refresh? Would be pretty nice right? 

We think it would. And we think attending some of these schools that are mere miles from some of the most popular festival stages in the country, would make a lot of sense for someone into that scene. 

As an intern you’re not expected to do great things. You’re overlooked, slightly taken advantage of, and quickly forget. You may not even have a last name—just [insert first name] The Intern.

But the secret is—they need you. They need you and they want you there, and there’s a lot of room to be great.

So how do you do it, you ask?

Future anthropologists will mine the internet and find countless seconds of audio files called podcasts. They will add up to be much longer than a person's lifetime. These anthropologists will wonder why we burdened ourselves with so much information and how we consumed thought provoking content so consistently while working, studying and or socializing throughout the day.

Like a spoiled kid on his birthday, when you're inundated with so many toys you realize you don't have the time to play with them all, despite how entertaining and enlightening they may be.

Having something you wrote with your name attached to it on a website that you didn’t create is resume gold.

Guest blogging shows initiative, skill, and business cunning. And although it seems like everyone’s doing it, trust me, it’ll still make you stand out.

The easiest thing for college students to write about is, of course, college. Using smart phone apps in college, going to parties in college, going on spring break in college. Just look at the advice pieces written by Academbot’s recent college grads.

Making a class schedule is like a digital jigsaw puzzle.

One class lets you sleep till 11 p.m.—another follows that class directly after and at the same spot on campus—but another has a better teacher and ends earlier while another is being taken by your suitemate. As far as puzzles go this one’s pretty fun. It’s a power trip in which you’re constantly treating yourself with better classes at more flexible times. But for a first timer, it can be troubling putting so much trust into yourself and the machine.

1. Elizabeth Banks- Hi my name is Elizabeth and I'm a Communications major at the University of Pennsylvania.

2. Rachel McAdams- Hi my name is Rachel and I'm getting a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University.

3. Brad Pitt- Hi my name is Brad and I'm a journalism major with a focus in adveritsing at the University of Missouri.

4. Debra Messing- Hi my name is Brenda and I study theater arts at Brandies University.

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