When in college, there are multiple benefits to having friends in class: you have someone to get notes/info from when you skip, a study buddy for exams, someone to look over your papers, and a friend to chat with during class!
While you may roll out of bed and come in late everyday with your hood on, ignoring all who look your way, you may want to think about changing your ways to make your life a little bit easier!
Come In Early or On Time
Instead of running in late everyday, why not show up a few minutes early and scope out the room?
If you come in early, you will have your choice of seating and you will be able to position yourself next to the people you want to talk to.
If you come in early, the people you are looking to talk to may not be there yet and may end up sitting somewher else.
HOWEVER, if you sit toward the front, you have a good chance of sitting next to a student who at the very least attends class on a regular basis.
Another reason to come in early?
This is the time students chat and bond. Position yourself near a group of students engaged in conversation and pay attention to whatever they are talking about.
Next time you come into class, strike up a conversation with whoever gets there first; you will already know a little bit about the person or their friends and it will be easier to hold a conversation.
Take a shower and change out of your pajamas!
If you put in some effort to your appearance, you will appear much more approachable to other human beings.
Try to avoid coming to class in your pajamas, straight from the gym, or with a hood and sunglasses on.
It may also be a good idea to avoid wearing shirts with offensive language/pictures on them because you never know who you may offend when trying to make friends.
When in class, start paying attention to those around you.
Does the girl in front of you take impeccable notes? Does the kid to your right always make it to class? Who is the teachers’ pet? Which people actively participate in class/seem to know what it going on?
If you make note of these things, you will find yourself talking to the right people. Don’t waste your time chatting up the guy in the back who looks like he is hungover and came to class to sleep.
You need to approach people who will eventually be able to help you succeed in the class. I am not telling you to use people, but if you are going to make friends in class, talk to the “right” people.
Participate in Lecture
I know this is far reaching for some of you, but if you start to participate in class, you may spark the interest of other students.
Those who are interested in the class will look to you for help or to ask questions.
If you raise valid points, engage in discussions/debate or if you just know the right answers to the homework, others will not hesitate to talk to you before, during or after class because they will view YOU as an ASSET to THEM.
So it’s time to make your move and talk to some of the students in your class. Assuming you followed all of my advice thus far, you should be able to execute a conversation with ease.
Talk about previous exams, papers, assignments, etc.
A good way to spark conversation is to talk about things that gave you a hard time or were a challenge because your peers will most likely be able to relate.
Ask for notes you “missed”
Even if you didn’t miss any notes, borrowing someone’s notes during or after class is a good way to strike up a conversation because it seems like you really need the person for help.
After you borrow their notes, offer to buy him/her a cup of coffee, bagel, or whatever, as a way to say thank you.
If you appear actively interested in another person, 9 times out of 10 he/she will not say no to this type of gesture.
If the person says no to hanging out after class, 9 times out of 10 the person will feel bad for turning you down and will feel obligated to make a gesture to even out the score. He/she may sit next to you the following week, engage you in a conversation, or make some sort of effort to talk to you.
So really it’s a win-win situation.
Offer Help to Someone Who Appears to Be Struggling
Another great way to break the ice with someone is to offer your help.
You don’t have to lean over his/her shoulder creepily when they are taking notes and ask if they need help, but pay attention to times when your services may be needed/appreciated.
If he/she has coffee and a big bag, hold the door. Help your peer clean up papers he/she may have dropped, pick up a dropped pen if it slips off the desk, or share your notes if he/she is frustrated with the pace of the teachers lecture and can’t get it all written down.
I’m not saying these things will magically create a relationship with someone, but if you make the effort to be nice and help people when they are struggling, they will remember that and will be more willing to share notes or a conversation with you.