How to Make Friends in College: A Guide for Those Stuck in their Shell

how to make friends in college, tips for making friends in college

College is a time in your life for figuring things out.

Adult things, like:

  • How do I set up a doctor’s appointment?
  • Why did I sign up for an 8 am lecture??
  • And one of the bigger issues – how to make friends in college

It seems daunting, however, making friends in college doesn’t have to be scary! 

In fact – 

Some of your most meaningful lifetime friendships can arise from college. You may not know it now, but you might even be sitting next to your future bff right now.  

Although, how does one “break the ice” so to speak?

How to Make Friends in College

Just talk to them.

Making friends in college is as easy as introducing yourself. Which on paper sounds easy enough, but what if you’re introverted? 

From my own perspective, I get this. I am very introverted and (if given the choice) would rather drink hot sauce than stay at a party for more than 2 hours or speak publicly.  

But, try to remember – 

We’re all in this new world, stressed out, confused, and sleep deprived together.

Thankfully:

It’s no longer a popularity contest, but more of a “hey did you finish this assignment” type of life.

I suggest just pushing through those beginning (uncomfortable) feelings with putting yourself out there. What helps me is reminding myself that no one cares about me.

And I mean that in the best of ways. No one cares and no one will remember your mistakes.

So:

If you can make it through talking to a few of your classmates, the hardest part of making new friends is over.

Plus honestly, you’re going to want to know how to make friends in college because…

They’re vital!

When you’re struggling on a subject – you now have an instant study buddy that wants you to succeed. 

Is there a day when you’re super sick (or hungover) and can’t make it to class? Text that study partner and ask them for notes from that day. 

Not only is making friends in college great for companionship, but they’re useful as well when life happens.

Also, take into consideration that these new friends you’re making could be MAJOR assets down the road after graduation.

Because more often than not…

…the secret to getting your foot in the door for an amazing job tends to be all about who you know. Let that sink in and be an additional networking motivator for you.

Now that you’ve got some in-class friends established, another awesome place on your journey of how to make friends in college is to try: 

Joining a club!

Not only will it look great on your grad school applications –

But with a shared interest in a subject, this is a sure fire way to make friends! 

Clubs are awesome because, besides the reasons listed above, a lot of clubs give back to the community, and some even help with other non-profit organizations.  

Which is way cool, and being a part of that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  

Another college activity to try and expand your ever-growing friends group is:

Participating in a sport.

This is an activity that comes with lots of benefits! 

Participating in a sport is great for not just making new friends, but also: 

Gaining a tight-knit group of friends is just the gravy on top.  

Also:

Certain sports also require you to keep that GPA up, so those teammates now become your study buddies as you work together.

Speaking of studying, another way to make friends in college is to – 

Create a study group.

With your in-class buddies and maybe even some of you club members/teammates – find a set time that works for everyone that term and stick to it.  

Invite others to join and watch your friends group make gains!

Studying together is always a benefit other students are interested in.

You can ask each other questions and get your homework done, all while strengthening those newly formed friendship bonds. ❤

Winning! 

Somewhere else you can go to start making friends is: 

School Events!

Freshman orientation, spirit week, football games…

…the list of school-sponsored events is endless! 

Start by going to one alone.

Um, why??

Because if you already have a designated hang out friend, you’re less likely to approach others and make new friends.

And:

Even if you don’t make a new friend, you’re sure to have at least a little bit of fun participating in these activities! 

If you do NOT want to go alone, then try going with your most sociable friend. They will more than likely introduce you to others and you’ll feel more comfortable. 

What about if you live off-campus?

And not in a school designated apartment complex? 

That can potentially add difficulty to many students who are figuring out how to make friends in college. 

That may be so:

But there is still so much opportunity to make college friends! 

Like: 

Inviting some people over! Especially if they live on campus, it’s a nice change of scenery to hang out somewhere else besides the dorms.  

Another idea is simply hanging out on campus after your classes. 

Which, I KNOW, is hard.

I mean why would you want to hang out on campus when a warm unmade bed and your sweatpants are waiting for you?

Well, because: 

You want to make friends! So head over to the commons, scope out the scene, and maybe find a friendly place in the crowd and join them.

As an added perk:

It’s also pretty motivating to stay focused on school things when others around you are doing that. You might even be invited to hang out more often!  

One other difficulty that you may run into on your making friends in college quest is:

Working at a job that’s not on campus and takes up most of your free time.

Although that is true, there is still time in class to make friends!

If you have any breaks in between classes, maybe get lunch with some of your classmates. Or of course, you can always invite some to join you for a group study session. 

Those are always useful! 

If you work in a customer service/restaurant type setting – ask them to visit you on the job! That brings in customers and makes you the friend that gives them free french fries (always a plus). 


I hope that some of these tips will encourage you to get out there and SHINE when it comes to making friends in college.

Not only for you to make friends…

But for people to become friends with YOU! 

You offer and bring a lot to the table! That’s one major thing to keep in mind when you’re trying to understand how to make friends in college. 

That you are also a great person, and people want to be friends with you!

So keep putting yourself out there and I know that you’ll find your college tribe. And maybe even some of those elusive life-long friends. 


how to make friends in college, tips for making friends in college

Making friends in college is hard - or is it? Learn how to make friends in college with these tips and you'll be on the right track in no time. Click to read my guide for those who have a tough time coming out of their shell!

Learn how to make friends in college (as an adult) by peeping my guide! Girls, boys, freshmen year and beyond - these tips will put you on the fast track to finding your people. Click to get started on making new friends in college and nurturing your new friend group today!

Have any other suggestions on making friends in college? 

That sums up my tips on making friends on college, but I’d love to know if you have been successful with other tactics.

Leave a comment below and help a fellow student out!  

Jade
Jade

I'm Jade, a full-time college student pursuing a degree in nuclear medicine down in southern Oregon. Fun Fact: I'm a makeup and unicorn enthusiast! I'm just trying to navigate this crazy thing we call life, while also being a full-time mom to a fur child and a fur-less child.

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