At the start of every school year, everything is “new” – new classes, new professors, new schedules – but in particular, it can be a time to meet new people. With a fresh start, you might be inspired and excited to meet new people and grow your circle of friends. However, even if you’re outgoing, it can feel intimidating to introduce yourself to people or just simply figure out how to go from “stranger” to “new friend.” To help, we’ve come up with X ways that you can make friends and meet new people on campus:
Join an on-campus club or organization
Clubs and organizations are basically built-in ways to make friends. Part (well, maybe even most) of the reason why clubs and organizations exist is to bring people together around something that interests or motivates them. With that reason in mind, it makes sense that clubs or organizations would be a great place to meet new people: you know that these fellow students have a shared interest with you. Usually, if you join a club or organization early in the semester, you’ll be introduced to new people automatically through group activities – so that takes the work (and any potential awkwardness) out of introducing yourself. Use that as an opportunity to invite a fellow club member to grab lunch or a coffee after a meeting to get to know each other more.
Become a part of a team
Okay, “togetherness” is literally in the definition: a group of players forming one side, or a group coming together to achieve a common goal. Joining a team is a great way to meet new people – and bonus: you have to get to know each other, because understanding your teammates makes you better able to work together. The introductions to your teammates will be quick and easy, because then you have to get to playing! After a practice or a game, invite your teammates for a celebratory (or maybe a consolatory) meal. And if the season is over? Keep up the camaraderie in the off-season by hanging out and inviting your teammates to other activities.
Get an on-campus job
A job might not seem like a great place to meet someone, but if you’re getting a job on-campus, it actually can help introduce you to a lot of new people. Consider all of the potential employment opportunities on campus: in the admission office, in the library, in the student center, etc. All of these places provide opportunities not only to meet new people by way of your co-workers – but also because you’ll likely be interacting with other students in some capacity. Additionally, your coworkers can introduce you to new people, or your job might even make you aware of some other opportunities for meeting new people.
Invite classmates to a study group
Listen, studying doesn’t have to be all work all the time. If you have a test or an assignment coming up, invite a classmate to help you study or prepare. It’s much easier starting a conversation with a classmate when you’re talking about class, since you know you both have that in common. Have your classmate meet you at the library, or another neutral on-campus location. Just try to actually get some work done when you ask a classmate to study or prep with you. Try doing some work, and then incorporating breaks into your session so you can recharge your brains, but also get to know your classmate. You might even suggest doing something after your study session, or another time, and in the process, it could even help you do better in the class!
Attend on-campus events
There are always so many events happening on campus at any given moment – so attend them! These provide great opportunities for meeting new people. Your school likely has a Student Activities office (or something similar) that has the sole purpose of coming up with things for students to do to provide a great on-campus experience. Check out their calendar of events and go to one that looks interesting to you. Other students with similar interests will attend the event, so you’ll know you have something in common. Don’t disregard academic on-campus events either though. If a professor suggests attending an event for extra credit, or something that might be helpful to class, invite a classmate to go with you – or if you see a classmate at the event, find a seat next to them. These are great ways to introduce yourself.
Actually attend your RA’s events
Most dorms have Resident Advisors (RAs, for short), and these RAs are generally responsible for planning and coordinating events for their residents. Part of their role on campus is to help facilitate a positive living environment for students in the dorms, and try to help everyone get along. As a result, they’re usually planning events that are aimed at introducing residents to each other and building great communities. Ask your RA if they have any events coming up and attend it — and don’t be afraid to ask your RA if they know of any other events to attend. They generally have a lot of information and will be a great resource in helping you make friends and meet new people.