By Brianna Pennella, Student at Ithaca College
Campus can feel like an ocean.
Even smaller schools still boast a student body that dwarfs your high school. Thousands of students are wandering around, some of whom you may have a ton in common with, but how do you know?
Here are five easy ways — no matter if you’re a freshman or senior — to make friends on campus.
Campus life can be overwhelming, but if you find a niche, finding friends is much easier. Whether it’s Greek Life, intramural sports, the school magazine or the cooking club, participating in an activity with people with similar interests will open tons of doors. When you already have something in common and a designated meeting to talk about or take part in it, a friendship can flow naturally.
Go to Campus Functions
If there’s a charity event or a sports game, go to it. It’s a great way to branch out and meet new people. Everyone’s mingling and having a good time, so striking up a conversation is easy. The biggest advantage is that school spirit and unity abounds at these events, giving everyone a reason to cheer and chat together.
Have a Study Group
Get some people together from class to work on an assignment or study for an exam. The mutual stressing and inevitable snacking will lead to a great bonding experience. Plus, you might gain a walking buddy or a lunchmate if your schedules are similar. Not to mention, having friends in a class can keep even the driest subjects from being a bore.
Open Your Door
This is the best piece of advice I can give, especially for freshmen. If you live in a dorm or some type of communal housing, leave your door open. This will encourage people to pop their heads in and say hello or give you a chance to wave at people passing by. Getting to know your neighbors better can be an excellent way to make friends and get a sense of belonging. But, of course, make sure to shut and lock your door when you're sleeping or out of your room.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Bold
Talk to people who interest you, reach out to friends of friends and don’t be afraid to grab a cup of coffee or lunch with a new pal. Sometimes making friends can be intimidating, but once you start reaching out, the rest just progresses. So, sit down next to someone new in class and start talking or knock on your neighbor’s door. No matter what the case, just relax and be you. Friends will follow!
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