Though it was a very LONG tme ago, I remember being excited to see who would be in my college classes each new semester. I looked forward to meeting new people, even though I’m not the most extroverted gal around. Looking back, I usually made at least one good friend every semester, but meeting new people and making meaningful connections can be tough. Believe me, I know. Here are a few tips I’ve given my students for getting to know others on campus.
Put Yourself Out There
People probably aren’t going to just come flocking to you. Don’t be afraid to take a risk. Strike up a conversation with someone in your class who looks interesting. Classes are a great way to get involved with classmates and professors. Ask people in the residence hall if you can join them for lunch. It can be scary if you’re shy, but imagine the worst that could happen, and you’ll realize that putting yourself out there is something you can definitely do.
Research has shown that students who are involved in campus activities are more likely to graduate. It makes sense. If you become active in your college life, you’ll feel a part of the campus community and a sense of ownership. You’ll be committed to your institution and to completing your education there. And you’ll just have more fun.
There are lots of ways to get involved. Avoid the temptation to go home on weekends and stick around campus instead. You can check out activities in your residence hall, sports clubs, fraternities or sororities. Even getting a part time job on campus is a great way to meet people and as well as being practical.
It takes time to make lasting connections. Not everyone will click with you, and campus can be lonely. Start small by talking to classmates and those who live near you. See where that leads, and then look toward branching out by joining campus groups. You’ll see that these small steps will eventually lead to more friendships.
Get Out of Your Room
Don’t hide in your dorm room. If you’re a commuter student, don’t spend all of your time at home. Just putting yourself out and about where the people are will increase your chances of meeting others with similar interests. Study at the library or in the common area of your dorm. Go to campus events like lectures, sporting events, or concerts. You’re bound to meet people just by getting out amongst them.