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

Something tells us you didn't ask how safe the campus was on your college tour. Maybe you should.

The world around us is changing and even walking down the street is not as safe as it once was--or we would like it to be.

And while we may feel like college is an isolated little bubble, college campuses are not always immune to crime. Nowadays most colleges have specified police departments to help protect students and faculty. Many also even offer an escort program to walk you from building to building.

Want to go muddin' between classes?

For a lot of students, moving to the big city is part of their college dream.

But not everyone shares that same aspiration.

What if you’re from an urban area and looking for a change of scenery? Or what if you’ve always lived in a rural area and want to stay out in the sticks? Many colleges are located in highly populated areas, but not all of them.

It’s Football Tailgating Season.

Game day can be a huge part of the college experience.

Many university parking lots will be filled with thousands of fans every Saturday for the next few months. And while every school takes pride in its quirky approach to the game-day experience, nothing encompasses the uniqueness of a college-town atmosphere better than its tailgating scene.  It’s something that can’t exactly be described, but only felt first hand.

Check out these tips for commuters, but not while driving!

While you may be envious of your friends that are living on campus, making the decision to commute to school can save you a ton of money on room and board. And while you might not be at school 24/7, you can still make efficient use of your time commuting to and from classes.

Typical broke college kid? You don’t have to be.

College can be expensive. Very expensive. But for many students, the cost is somewhat justifiable as a college education provides maximized earning potential in the future. So since your spending all that money, to make money, why not kick those old, silly habits that are killing your bank account, now?

Your network of professionals can never be too big.

No matter what type of person you are, networking is an important skill to possess and develop.

Every connection you make can potentially be the key to your next job. Learning to present yourself well and being a genuine individual will take you far in your post-collegiate life.

The relationship between student and smartphone continues to be a huge part of the college experience.

Smartphones are the real deal these days. Gone are the "bricks" and "flip phones" that were only able to make calls and play "Snake." Cellphones are no longer just used for exclusively verbal communication--they are our connection to the real world around us, right now. Integrated into our everyday routines, they are task managers of our actual and virtual lives.

College life is no exception.

Looking to get active in college? Hustle to one of these schools.

Competitive college sports aren’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that students should miss out on the fun of social team sports. Most teams don’t typically require tryouts and in some cases, if the program is large enough, players will be assigned a team based on their skill level. Even better, with your busy academic schedule, teams don’t require practices and games are played just for fun. 

You were definitely doing cool, before it was cool. Find a university that reflects what you're all about.

Defined by mason jars, skinny jeans, flat brims, and organic fair trade espresso--the Hipster has taken center stage. Thick-rimmed glasses with deep cultural insights are finding a revival community that becomes a lifestyle.

Get out your walking shoes, because we have some serious ground to cover. 

Not many colleges can boast owning land as far as the eye can see. 

But with more acres comes more space in the great outdoors. 

If an expansive campus is your thing, Collegexpress.com has compiled a list of the top 100 colleges with the most acres for your exploration.

Here are the Top Five:

Be the best frosh you can be.

Freshman year can be one of the most exciting years of your life.

You might be moving to a new city, state or country all together. Either way you will be making new friends and learning a lot about yourself. Here are some tips on how to handle some of the biggest question marks you might run into during your freshman year:

If you're not sure there's a Greek community out there for you, think again.

There is certainly a stigma associated with sororities and fraternities, which are often thought of as the stomping grounds for mean girls and fratastic bros. But in most cases, that perception is far from the truth, especially with these groups.

The LGBT sororities, fraternities--and even frarorities--listed below are all about support and acceptance and can make a huge impact on making your college experience something special.

You'll never want to leave your room if you're heading to one of these schools.

When you're first heading to college, you're probably somewhere between the excitement of moving away from home and the realization of that you’re most likely going to be residing in a cold, boring cinder-block dorm room—with a twin-sized cot. Perfect. 

Sure your dream school has a website, but does it have an app?

If you're freshman, the last thing you want to do is skulk around campus with a printed-out map. Yes, you can probably find it on the website, but if your school's site is not mobile friendly, you could feel like you're trying to navigate through a school for ants.

Professors can make or break your courses - save yourself some stress and tears by selecting professors that fit your learning style best.

They can inspire you to love a subject. They can be cruelly monotone. They can empower you to reflect their passions. They can be so off-topic that you aren't unsure what the title of the course is anymore. They can be the reason you decide to change your major.

Professors are a defining part of a course experience that can not be overlooked.

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