Making friends 101: How to meet new people


Lanie Hibel

Two university students pet a dog on the Main Quad on April 3. There are many ways to make new friends on campus.

By Heather Robinson, Managing Editor for Reporting

1. Join an RSO

While this is the advice your counselor or parent might give you, joining a club may truly be the best way to make friends in college. Check out Quad Day for a wide variety of options and talk to the students running the booths. Often, there will be social media handles for the RSOs, which you can follow and immediately find an online community with people sharing similar interests to you. There is sure to be an RSO for everyone, with options spanning from writing for your student newspaper to geeking out in a Harry Potter fan club.

2. Make friends with your classmates

This is the easiest way to meet people whose interests probably align more with yours in terms of career goals. As you begin your first year of classes here at the University, start to build connections early. The people you see in your classes within your major or minor will most likely become familiar faces throughout the rest of your time here. As for approaching your classmates, spark up a conversation with those seated around you and maybe walk with some of them to your next class. Make sure to grab their numbers or Snapchats so you can help each other with class-related work and start from there. Maybe ask them if they want to meet up for a study group! There are few bonding experiences like staying until closing time at the Undergraduate Library.

3. Residence halls

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By this point, you probably already know your roommate situation for the upcoming year. If possible, it is helpful to reach out to your roommate through text or social media to learn what you have in common, or even to coordinate some cute dorm interior design! And other than your roommate(s), you will meet plenty of students on your floor. The best resident advisers coordinate potentially awkward yet important ice-breakers to get everyone acquainted. Take advantage of these opportunities! In addition, hang out in your dorm common spaces and you’ll be surprised at the friends you can make by simply starting conversations with the people studying at the table next to you.

4. Scope out social media 

If you consider yourself to be more introverted, or continue to be cautious of COVID-19, social media is a great way to meet people. As I mentioned previously, you can follow interesting clubs online. But some of the best places for meeting people online are often groups like “Class of 202X” on Facebook, where students join for the sole purpose of finding a community. Sometimes people will even make posts about looking for new friends! And if you’re a little bolder, try downloading apps like Bumble BFF or Tinder and putting in your bio that you’re just looking for some new friends.

5. Explore campus!

In contrast, if you consider yourself more outgoing, you should have little trouble sparking a conversation with the person behind you in line at Starbucks. Or, you will probably thrive if you join in a frisbee game on the Main Quad. Campus is vast but so is the student body, so get out there and see what kinds of connections you can find. But above all remember that each of the new students around you is on the same page, and you are not alone in trying to make new friends!

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