How to Make Friends in College

malory thelen

To be completely honest, I was terrified that I was going to arrive at college, ready to meet anyone and everyone – only to not make any friends and be that socially awkward person who sits alone in the cafeteria.  I even searched the title of this blog, “How to Make Friends in College,” with the hopes of finding a magical solution to my worries.  Although it definitely is extremely difficult to leave home, family, and best friends, college can truly be a time to reinvent yourself.  Some might find their circle immediately and always be surrounded by people, but for others, the social transition may take more time.

I remember my first day on campus: the cafeteria was filled completely by first-years and their families, so they began redirecting people to the President’s Room near the cafeteria.  My mom and I sat alone at a table, while it seemed like everyone else already had made at least one friend.  When she was about to leave for home, I burst into tears and cried much longer after she had left (I promise, this story has a happy ending!).

After I was about a fourth of the way through my box of tissues, I heard a knock on my door.  It was two girls from my hall – they were roommates, and like me, they didn’t know anybody either!  We ended up talking at my door until our entire hall gathered to introduce ourselves and to formally meet our Resident Advisor.  Throughout the year, I have become friends with almost every girl on my hall – I guess sharing bathrooms can really bring you closer!

Like I said before, making friends is a process for many people, so here is a short list of things that you can do in college (and especially at Transy) to meet other students.

Go through recruitment.  Even if you do not plan on joining a Greek organization, I would encourage every student to be a part of rush.  At each event, you meet new people: both upperclassmen and first-years in your group.  It’s just a fun and exciting time for everyone involved.  Plus, if you decide to join Greek life, you will have a solid support system of men or women who share your similar ideals!

Attend CBAs.  This is code-word for “Community Building Activity.”  Each RA plans several CBAs to engage their residents: they can be games such as Murder in the Dark or a campus-wide scavenger hunt, movie nights with Chinese food, even karate lessons!  These events were so much fun, and they let me socialize and bond with the girls on my hall.

Go to sponsored events.  During August Term, there were so many FREE and fun events to attend.  For example, there was a walk through downtown Lexington where we got free coffee and beignets; there was a trip to the Natural Bridge with free pizza; there was a game show night where participants could win actual money; and so much more!  Also, many of these events could only attract a certain number of people (e.g. those who could pull themselves out of bed on a Saturday morning), so you could basically meet every student who attended!

Don’t be shy!  I know breaching your comfort zone can be difficult, but this is hands-down the quickest way to make friends!  People are so friendly and welcoming here, that all you have to do is introduce yourself – the rest will flow so easily.

Join the TU Class of 2017 Facebook page.  This group is a great way to meet (or creep on) your future classmates.  Talk about where you are from, what you are thinking about majoring in, or what you are most excited about when you become a Pioneer.

Join student organizations, clubs, or a sports team.  Being part of a group which is working towards specific goals definitely brings people closer.  Showcase your talents on the soccer field, blow people away with your singing voice, or volunteer your time with a service project.  Transy has 70+ organizations, so whether you are a gamer, an athlete, a musician, or something completely different, you can find your place here.

While making friends in college might seem difficult at first, if I can manage it, so can you!  So, don’t stress about it – just be yourself, be a pioneer, and everything will fall into place.