College is a time like no other. It’s a time of new beginnings, self-development, and expansive opportunities. But perhaps one of the most influential aspects of college life—aside from your studies—is the people you meet and the friendships that last long after graduation.
Making new friends can seem daunting, especially when your old life seems (or may actually be) thousands of miles away.
Rest assured most other freshmen are in the same boat, keen to create new connections that will make the transition more comfortable and fun while making memories that will last a lifetime.
It’s no surprise that college friends often stick around long after college. With these people you’ll find yourself learning and growing, adapting and discovering. These kinds of relationships make a mark on your heart that no others can.
It’s natural to feel nervous at the prospect of making new friends, but allow yourself to feel excited, too. Afterall, you’re only a freshman once, so savor every moment, drink in each new experience, and go with an open mind. Unlikely friendships are often the best.
If you aren’t the kind of person to strike up friendships easily, rest assured. We have created this article to help with some great ways to find new friends in the early days.
Friendship Can Start in Your Accommodation
As soon as you have made yourself at home, start conversations with those living around you. Whether you choose to live exclusively with other freshmen or with returned missionaries, you are sure to have some things in common with other residents. This is a great and easy place to start. Strike up a conversation and take a genuine interest in their hobbies, where they're from, what their major is, and what their dreams and aspirations are. Small talk can often be underestimated. If you’re smiling with open body language and offer genuine intrigue, you’re likely to make an impression, leading to friendships that stand the test of time.
Here at Sunrise Village, our approved freshman housing is the ideal place to live and make friends.
Remember YES Holds the Key to Many Opportunities
If someone asks you to go to a book event, or to a dinner with a group of other students, try to make the effort to go even if you don’t know anyone there. The fact that you have courageously gone alone to find new friendships will identify you as someone who is open and willing to connect—sometimes others are waiting for the green light from YOU before they make the move to becoming your friend.
*Obviously, ensure that you are always safe and that there is a group of others doing the same as you at the same time.
Classes Aren’t Just About Learning
It’s not a shock to discover that people attending the same classes as you probably have a lot in common with you, too. Making connections in class is a great way to easily find friends who have similar values and aspirations as you do. When it’s acceptable to do so, strike up a conversation. Don’t be afraid to ask if they know of any events or fun activities going on where you might be able to tag along.
If this feels daunting, simply start a conversation another way, and try to create a friendship by asking if they want to work on an assignment together. You can also ask questions about the work, deadlines, and tests. Once you have started a conversation, you’ll see how easy it is, and probably find that other people appreciate you making that first move.
Here at BYU-Idaho, there are many extracurricular activities that you could get involved in—over 3000 in fact—and they are a great place to make new friendships, too. Many of them are free, and some have a small cost, but with this many opportunities there really is something for everyone. We have life skill workshops, fitness classes, home evening activities (which is great for helping students living together get to know one another), game nights, dance classes, outdoor activities, and so much more…check out this article for more information: Get Involved With Student Activities at BYU-Idaho
Have An Open Door Policy
Having your door open during the day and while you’re in the room is a key indicator that you’re not busy and happy to be approached. While you’re chilling out and working through textbooks, your open door is acting on your behalf telling others that it’s ok to stop by and say “hi.” Remember to lock up your room when you’re out and about though.
The World Is Your Office Space
Get out of your room from time to time and work on your assignments in different campus locations. You could sit near a friendly face and strike up a conversation that way. Or, if you are feeling particularly introverted, simply sit and people watch. A smile goes a long way and you never know who might approach you.
Be the Party Starter
Why not arrange a potluck-style feast, and tell everyone you invite to bring an extra person? Or arrange a games night designed to break the ice and get to know one another. It’s amazing how quickly friendships form around the person who takes initiative and brings other people together.
Giving back can be rewarding, and it’s a great place to meet like-minded people, too. You can check out local opportunities, or maybe set up your own project and recruit others to get on board, too. Finding friendships and making a difference; does it get better than that?
Get into Work
Working in a sociable setting can be a great way of finding friendships, both with people on your team as well as people who come into your workplace, too. It’s a place where communication is necessary and it’ll only be a matter of time before genuine connections are made. Plus, you’ll make money in the process.
Focus On Your Studies
Start a study group and send out an email inviting others to join, get your professors on board too so that they can help spread the word. This is an easy way to create connections and expand opportunities to meet up with people in your class—and you’ll be boosting your grades at the same time.
Variety is the Spice of Life
When you start to forge some initial friendships, don’t quit. Remember that there are numerous people on campus that you could have connections with, and while you are nurturing your new friendships, continue to foster even more. You should have found by now that striking up a conversation and reaching out isn’t as scary as you might have thought, so continue doing it. There is no limit on the amount of friends you can have, and who knows…you might make someone’s day by inviting them to do something you’ve arranged with your new friends. There might be others who are struggling, missing home, and open to make connections. Why not challenge yourself to talk to at least one new person each day?
Finding friendships in college really does make an impactful difference. We hope this article has helped inspire you to find the confidence to make those connections. But the most important thing to keep in mind when seeking new friends is this: be yourself, that’s the most beautiful version of you!
If you’re looking for BYU-I friendly housing with incredible opportunities for young men and women, contact Sunrise Village for modern and classic apartment style layouts. Our community of renters provides an accommodating environment for new and returning students. Contact us today to land your next college living space in one of the best apartments in town.