Going away for college gives you the opportunity to start from scratch. You will be in a new place surrounded by strangers. All of these people are potential friends. Trying to make that initial connection can be overwhelming but remember, everyone else is starting from a blank slate, too. Here are some ways you can make friends while in college and discover your tribe.

college necessities

Be authentically you…whatever that means for you right now

This is by far the most important tip. College is all about discovering who you are as a person, learning how to express your inner voice, and glowing up. Unlike high school where your chances to meet like minds is limited, you’ll find a lot more diversity in college to find people just like you. Don’t be afraid to gush about what you love, rock your personal style, or throw yourself into what catches your eye – now is the time.

Take a deep breath and jump off of the deep end

Do you feel that tinge of fear come over you when you have a question in an arena sized class of 200 people? Do you really wanna get to know that one person in class, but just don’t know how to even approach it? You keep on passing that one college meetup or group and wanna scope it out but just haven’t done it? Wanna study abroad but you’ve never been out of the country?

Just do it before you have a chance to second guess yourself! The coolest people you’ll meet in college are gonna be outside of the bubble, just getting out there will help you find them.

Check out a bunch of clubs and activities, you’ll find yourself surprised by what ends up sticking…

Most of the friends you will make in college you’ll meet through dorming, class, or extracurricular activities. According to Frank Financial Aid, even students who have to balance work and school, benefit from carving out some time for school activities as both a great way to make friends and and to make professional contacts that may benefit you later. Greek life? Hiking? Volunteering? Campus newspaper? College republicans? Drop into anything that sparks your eye. Campus groups are always happy to have newbies join and it’s a great opportunity to meet upperclassmen as well. For students who are working, many clubs meet during the evening hours which make it easier to participate if you have to work during the day or weekends.

Eat meals with people

Getting breakfast, lunch and/or dinner with someone is your shot to get to know them a bit more. A meal is a great way to get closer with a new friend or an old one. After all, food is life. Being able to eat a meal with someone instead of eating it by yourself is one of the best feelings. So go ahead, don’t be afraid to ask a friend to join you for a meal!

Meeting people during orientation will put you ahead of the curve

Most schools host orientation activities for incoming students to get a taste of their school’s campus life. Orientation activities are also a way for students to meet new people. If you choose to participate in these activities feel free to ask questions. For example, a great way to start a conversation with a stranger is by asking “Where are you from?”, “Did you do pre-orientation?” or “What’s your major?”

Talking to you distance-ed student: making friends can help make the online school life much easier

It’s a given that when you’re online, it’s a bit more challenging to befriend your classmates, since you don’t get any facetime, like you do on campus. However, with a little extra effort, you too can meet cool people and also do some awesome networking, especially if you’re an adult learner. Use the discussion groups as a way to meet people by opening up a conversation around mandatory writing prompts. Also, try to start a remote study group through the discussion board and see if anyone bites. Also, you can see if there are any other students in class over in your corner of the world, and try to meet up in person.

Put the vibe out into the world that you wanna get

Carry yourself with respect and be nice to others. People around you will notice your attitude and will reciprocate it back towards you. So be mindful of your body language and/or your words.

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