How to make friends in college

Going to college for the first time is an incredibly exciting experience. You’ll take classes on subjects you love, have new experiences and meet new people. But let’s be real, it’s incredibly scary to take college-level classes, live in a new place and meet new people! Here are some tips to make your life easier in one area: how to make friends in college. This advice comes directly from the people who know best— current college students.

1) Start a conversation

  • Remember, you are not alone. Chances are most of your classmates feel the exact same way! It all starts with a simple hello. – Riley G.
  • Ask for phone numbers or social media information and start a conversation. One way to keeping the conversation going is by figuring out what event you want to meet up at next. – Nathan D.
  • It’s scary to make the first move sometimes and talk to people, but it’s totally worth it. Don’t worry! As time goes by, you will feel more comfortable talking to your classmates. – Alejandra V.

2) Connect with classmates

  • A lot of the people I had classes with my freshman year were some of my first friends. We were simply around each other so much, and our schedules were so similar. – Jordan J.
  • Be willing to ask for help. Working in teams helps you build strong relationships with classmates! – Leslie D. 

3) Build relationships in the residence halls

  • If you are living on campus, you can make friends with the other students on your floor in your residence hall. Each hall has events throughout the semester. They are great ways to meet your neighbors and get to know other students. – Carina D.
  • A lot of friendships are built the first week on campus! Through residential living, student organizations, athletics, student jobs and simply going to class, you will start to see many familiar faces. Friends are made simply through living and experiencing all that college has to offer. – Riley G.

4) Attend campus events

  • One of the many ways to make friends is to attend campus events. The events are so fun, and they are a great way to find people who are interested in the same things as you! – Noah H.
  • Go to as many campus events as possible. These events are designed as a way for students to make new friends. Plus, they are always really fun! Don’t be afraid to get out of your room and out of your comfort zone. – Danielle K.

5) Join clubs

  • The best way to make friends is to be involved on campus. By trying an intramural, music group, club or even a job, you will be able to meet people and make connections. If you are even slightly considering joining something, try it! – MacKenzie M.
  • Join clubs or join groups that you are interested in. I was definitely nervous attending club meetings for the first time by myself. However, I found people want to help you feel comfortable. College is a great time to step out of your comfort zone. Joining a club, intramural sports team or ministry group is a great way to do this. – Amy M.
  • Many of the majors on campus have their own clubs. If you are struggling to find a club you like, look into the professional clubs to find friends within your major. – Caitlyn R.

At Bluffton University…

Community extends far beyond the classroom. With more than 60 student organizations, 18 athletic teams, and dozens of ways to experience the arts and spiritual life, you will find your place at Bluffton University.

President’s Ambassador, Grace Z. provided a few thoughts on how to make friends specifically at Bluffton University.

  • Bluffton does a great job of providing students with plenty of opportunities to meet new people. Welcome Week is full of activities to meet new people. As a first-year student, you are placed in a Becoming a Scholar class that serves as your family away from home right on campus. You will spend a lot of time with your class and are equipped with resources to build friendships with people who have interests similar to yours! You will also have an opportunity to take a life changing trip called The Great Adventure. This first-semester experience creates another opportunity to strengthen and reinforce the friendships you are already developing.