It’s actually easier to make friends in college if you could believe it, so if you’re shy like I was heading into university, I’m here to tell you this is the last thing you need to worry about! What makes college so great is everybody is new and looking to make friends, especially your freshman year (or even junior year, when many people transfer to a 4-year school from community college).
During my high school days and still a bit today, I have been a “shy” person, but college was the most exciting time for me simply because of how many people I got to meet and become friends with. For most people, it’s the first time they’re surrounded by peers they haven’t seen every day in hallways since pre-school. If you grew up like me in a small town, you are in for an adventure with thousands of others like you: living on their own for the first time and wanting to grow.
Right after my senior year of high school, I moved about 75-minutes south to a 4-year university where only 2 other kids from my high school ended up going too. Before I even got to school in September, I joined all the private Facebook groups my new graduating class had made online. I visited campus, took the tours, and ended up meeting my best friend on orientation day!
All you have to do is be open and friendly. Say hi to new people, ask them questions to get to know them and see what you have in common. Chances are, they are thinking the exact same thing as you. Even if there is awkward silence! If you’re thinking it, so are they, this is so awkward, I hope they don’t think I’m weird. Use that as a conversation starter to lighten the mood. We both know this is awkward so let’s skip to the good stuff, what do you do in your free time?
So if you’re moving to college and you’re nervous about how you’ll make new friends, don’t be! Here is your little pep talk, and you can check back here whenever you need the reminder. You’re stepping into the next best years of your life, whether it’s your frosh year or you’re transferring somewhere new. You are so far from alone, and you have nothing to be afraid of.
You get what you put into the world, so give it your best effort. If you like working out or playing sports, keep doing that and see who you meet along the way for like-minded friends. There are tons of options for clubs at college you can join, and those are a great way to meet new friends with similar passions. You could also check our sororities and fraternities for sisterhood or brotherhood, or maybe just know that’s a good backup if you don’t like any of the school clubs.
Talk to people before class too! Get to know those in your major, and the easiest way to do that is meeting your classmates. If they’re studying the same thing you are in college, then chances are you guys have something to talk about. What made them decide this major? What do they want to do with their degree? You probably have more in common than you think based on that. As a writing major, everyone around me seemed to love reading as much as I did, which was never the case in high school.
There is no reason to fear when you’re shy and moving to college. You will make friends and great memories, just stay open to all the new adventures and opportunities that come your way. You’re not alone, and you’re going to do great! In fact, you’re surrounding by people who are all in the same boat as you and you both already have something in common to talk about: so why did you choose this school? I bet they have a story there 😉