How to make friends in college

This can sometimes feel difficult. It might sound obvious, but a good way to approach someone is to just say hello, tell them your name, and ask them theirs. This is actually something that is much more socially acceptable than we think, especially in college or university.

Another way is to pick something that’s happening and ask questions about it. For example, if they’re looking at an event poster, you can ask them, “Hey, does anything about this event look funny? Are you considering leaving?”

You can also ask about shared experiences. For example, you could ask them how they like being in college.

Asking simple follow-up questions can help convey interest and engage the other person. For example, if they’re talking about a class they’re taking, you could ask a follow-up question like, “How do you like it?” If they’re talking about a hobby or sport, you could respond, “How long have you been doing this?” What do you like about that?”

It helps to listen carefully to what they are saying without interrupting or inserting a lot of personal opinions. They can then add statements to adapt to how it seems to make them feel.

For example, “Sounds like you did a great job learning how to do this,” or even something like “I’m glad you got into the class you wanted.” These can be very simple, but clearly show that you are interested in learning more about it.

Feeling lonely in college or university is actually quite common. studies consistently find a high level of loneliness and adjustment difficulties during the first semester of college. This can happen even after people have socialized multiple times or find themselves having fun experiences during this time.

Loneliness often occurs because it can be difficult to deal with sudden changes, such as family or friends being away from home. It can also be difficult to adjust to being self-sufficient without continuous, direct personal support from parents or caregivers.

There are a few ways to balance studying with socializing.

Try breaking study time into specific blocks and reserving other times for social time. Social time can include specific events where there are people to meet or time you can spend with specific people.

You can also combine your studies with social contacts. For example, you can see if a potential friend or friends from a class want to study together. This is also a great way to socialize in your field of study. You might also be able to introduce your “colleagues” to others.

Certainly! Many other students are actually in the same situation.

The establishment of college campuses or college towns make great places to make alcohol-free friends because there are so many social things to do that don’t involve alcohol.

Some ideas to think about:

  • Joining university organizations that match your interests, such as theater clubs or sports and music organizations
  • going to university-sponsored events on campus, many of which do not serve or promote alcohol
  • Chatting in a coffee shop or in dormitories

A great way to keep in touch with someone you’ve met is to suggest a specific activity at a specific time that you might want to do together or with a group. Some possible ideas are:

  • go to a sports game
  • see a play on campus
  • Participate in free on-campus events, such as movie nights

You can then ask for their contact information to plan the details.

If you don’t figure out something specific right away, you can suggest hanging out with him at some point and ask for his contact information. You can text them later and suggest something they should do.

You can also send texts about things they may have mentioned to you. For example: “How was the test?” “What happened to the intramural game?” “Do you want to study this Thursday at? [insert time and place]?”

This is a challenging situation and not uncommon.

First, you’re probably not doing anything wrong because there’s usually no “right” way to socialize. There can be many reasons why permanent connections are not established.

To get feedback on your specific situation, you can try visiting your college counseling center where you can speak to counselors who understand common college challenges.

Connecting can be about doing things that could help your goals in a balanced way, rather than doing things that hinder those goals.

For example, if your goal is to spend more time with another person but you never contact the other person to suggest activities, then you probably won’t achieve your goal.

Instead, it’s better to make a few attempts to suggest certain activities while allowing the other person to accept or decline them, to work towards the purpose of making social connections.

Shyness and introversion are actually very common. And the good news is that you don’t have to change your personality!

There is evidence that introverts still maintain close interpersonal relationships and seek closeness. Introverts also tend to interact well with other introverts, which is still an important playing field.

What tends to put people at a disadvantage when meeting others is how unsympathetic a person is. However, this effect is only really pronounced when both people are unsympathetic.

Older research suggests that regardless of personality, it is possible to build a range of individual behaviors to promote interpersonal closeness.

“Real” in this case can be a highly subjective term.

Extensive research has found that personal social support is one of the most important predictors of positive well-being.

However, research has also shown that it is also possible to have online friends provide a sense of social support. So it’s most helpful to clarify what these relationships mean to you, regardless of whether others see them as valid, and what you want to learn about relationships in your life.

For example, do these online relationships feel real and supportive to you, or do you want to have more face-to-face social connections?

If you find that you want more personal interactions and feelings of personal closeness, seeking more personal connections can help.


dr Matt Boland is a licensed clinical psychologist providing structured assessment and psychotherapy with medical patients and mental health consumers in Reno, Nevada. He also conducts original research on post-traumatic stress and emotional regulation in clinical disease and teaches university courses on related topics.

Leave a Comment