A Freshman Asks Ivy For Advice On How to Make Friends At College
BY KIM BARTENFELDER, STAFF WRITER
People always say that college is supposed to be the best years of your life, but I’m four weeks into the semester and already I feel like that’s not true. I’m a freshman who came into college expecting to make friendships that will last forever, but I haven’t really found my friend group yet. At first, I hung out with people on my floor, but I’m already starting to drift apart from them. The problem is that I don’t have any other people to hang out with, and I’m starting to feel lonely. With so many people around, you would think it would be easy to make friends, but I’m struggling. If this is what the rest of my college experience is going to be like, then I’m going to be lonely and friendless for the next four years. Do you have any advice on how to make friends?
Dear Lonely Girl,
Well, I’d like to start out by saying welcome to college! High school and college are two very different ball games. In high school, friends groups are more established since you’re with that same pool of people all four years. You may be thinking that you’ll be with the same group of people for four years in college as well, but within the past few years, the number of incoming freshmen at Mason has significantly increased. Your peer group might not be as tight-knit as it was in high school, but there is more of an opportunity to make more friends since there are more people.
As you mentioned already, getting to know your roommate(s) and floormates will help bridge that gap between high school and college as they are your first look into the college experience. Fortunately there are more people on campus than just your roommate(s) and floormates. At Mason, there are over 350 registered student organizations (RSOs) to get involved in, ranging from Greek life to business organizations to environmental clubs to political groups. Taking advantage of these RSOs and what they have to offer will help you find others with similar interests while encouraging the community you’ve been seeking.
On top of joining a few organizations, another great way to make friends is to just talk to people. Be friendly to everyone you meet, make an effort to get to know people that are in your classes and go to events that are on campus. Taking the extra step to say hi to someone can make a huge difference.
As for not having any close friends yet, an important thing to keep in mind is that you’ve only been on campus for four weeks. A lot happens within the first month you’ve been on campus, so it’s okay to not be friends with everyone you meet, to have many acquaintances and to build stronger connections with a select few. It’s better to have a handful of awesome, committed friendships than a bunch of meaningless ones, and to have quality over quantity.
There are so many different ways to get involved on campus and so many people. It really is just a matter of putting yourself out there to be seen and heard. Once you do that, the friendships will follow and Lonely Girl will be no more.