For me, becoming friends with someone has always been a difficult task. I am a shy person, and I rarely used to initiate conversation. Once I get to know someone, it’s easier to come out of my shell and be friends. Getting to that point, however, is not usually a walk in the park for introverts like me. I remember my freshman year of high school I was freaking out about who I would sit with at lunch, but freshman year of college was a whole different ball game. I didn’t have any close friends who were also coming to IU, so I had to start from square one again. Maybe that’s how it will be for you. Perhaps all your best friends are attending other schools, or maybe you just want to find a new friend group. Wherever you are at in that department, this advice may help in your pursuit of finding those companions for life.
Introduce Yourself to Your Floor
The first people you will meet will most likely be the people living on your floor. Trust me, you may never see some of your residence hall neighbors except on move-in day and the first floor meeting. So take the initiative and stop and say hi to every open door. Maybe offer to help someone move in if you see them struggling. Everyone around you is as new to the environment as you are, so don’t be afraid to introduce yourself.
Go to Welcome Week Activities
A great way to make friends is to attend your neighborhood Welcome Week events. Each residence hall will have multiple activities for students to participate in, such as a dance party, a barbecue, or a craft table. Get out and socialize!
Join a Club
There are hundreds of student organizations on campus, so chances are you will find one that best suits you. A bonus is you will have is that, upon joining a club, you will automatically have something in common with the others members, making it easier to start conversation.
Create a Study Group
Calculus, biology, or chemistry isn’t easy for anyone. Introduce yourself to the people around you in those huge lecture hall classes, and suggest making a Group Me so that you all can meet up and study together for the next exam. You may find things in common with them while practicing proofs or chemical formulas.
Keep at it!
Finding friends in college can be hard. It took me almost three months to find my group. However, the whole process boosted my confidence, strengthened my social skills, and made me a little more outgoing. Introducing myself wasn’t a chore anymore, and I wasn’t as afraid to initiate conversation with someone. It took time for me to find a group of people who would rather stay in than go out and party, who would go get waffles at Read at midnight, who would go to different sporting events, who would go to church with me every Sunday, and who would push me to be the best person I could be. When I did find those people, though, it made my freshman experience so much better.
I encourage you to be a little picky. Don’t cling to the first people you find on campus, and don’t only socialize with your high school buddies. Branch out and find the right people for you. With over 40,000 students on campus and a 7,000+ freshman class, I have no doubt that you will be able to make some wonderful friendships.