23 Jul 2015

7 Survival Tips to Making Friends in College

College is a whole new world, with many unfamiliar faces and places.

With so many challenges ahead, it’s always great to have friends who will motivate & support you through midterms and finals; friends who are there for you through breakups and tough times. College is truly THE place for you to forge strong friendship bonds that will last a lifetime!

If you’re an introvert and you’re starting to feel a bit anxious about how to navigate your social life in college, don’t fret! Here are seven tips on how you can easily make friends in college.

1. Attend the first week of college

The first week of college is when orientation happens, so don’t miss this chance to meet new people and to familiarise yourself with your new surroundings. Lots of ice-breaking sessions will usually be held, so join in and have fun!

Don’t be afraid to speak to others in your class as well. After all, it’s their first day too and they may be just as nervous as you are! Ask questions, invite people for lunch, introduce yourself and you’ll soon be forging new friendships with new people!

2. Join clubs and societies

Most colleges will have numerous clubs and societies that you can participate in — from martial arts and sports, to performing arts and photography. Figure out what your passions are and get involved! Having common interests always helps friendship to bloom faster.

During the first week of college, there will usually be a fair that showcases all the available clubs and societies, so don’t miss that! Find one that suits you or piques your interest and jump right in!

Pro Tip: Clubs and societies are also a great way for you to boost your university and scholarship application, especially if you’re vying for top universities abroad!

3. Get involved in study groups

Everyone wants to do well in college, so form a study group with your classmates to discuss study material and work on classwork and assignments. Not only is studying in a group a good way to bond, it will also help to keep you motivated, as well as reinforce what you have learnt.

Remember to keep your study group to a good size (anything more than 6 may be disruptive) and make sure you set out study goals so that everyone doesn’t end up getting distracted.

4. Break a sweat and participate in sports

You may not play any kind of sport, but there is a first for everything!

Expand your circle of friends by joining futsal, basketball and badminton — these are popular sports, and it’s very likely that there will be a game going on everyday at your college campus. Or try out something completely new, like yoga, martial arts, or even paintball.

Getting involved in sports also helps to reduce stress and improve your health, so it’s a big win!

5. Don’t be 24/7 on your tech gadgets

Being on your smartphone or iPad all the time at college makes you a total bore. There are always lots of people around you all the time, so socialise and mingle!

Keep your phone away during meals and refrain from surfing Facebook or playing Candy Crush. It’s rude, and makes you look sad. Really.

Instead, engage in fun conversations with your friends! Talk about your day, the lecturer that tossed a student’s homework out the window, or maybe even plan a budget holiday!

6. Get a part-time job on campus

Most colleges offer employment to students in places such as the library or at administrative departments. Working on campus will allow you to meet all sorts of people from college, with the added benefit of earning an extra buck at the same time.

Alternatively, you could also look for part-time jobs at establishments around your college campus. Chances are, you’ll be bumping into lots of students from your college too!

7. Go to college events — or better yet, organise one!

There’s nothing like going to a college event to feel the college spirit, whether it’s an inter-college basketball tournament, orientation camp or your annual dinner and dance. There’s always a good chance for you to meet various people, including friends of friends!

Getting involved in a committee to organise events can be great fun too. It’s always exciting to pull off an event from scratch, when everything seemed impossible at the start. Working towards a common goal will definitely build closer ties amongst your fellow committee members.

Step out of your comfort zone. You might be surprised by your experience, and the people you meet along the way!

Before you go around breaking the ice with every single soul you meet, set your expectations straight by checking out these 15 personalities that you can come across in campus first!

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