How to Make New Friends in College

how to make new friends in college

If you're like a lot of students, you may find it difficult to make new friends in college.

Going to college is likely one of the biggest transitions you will face in your early adulthood. You are leaving behind everything that provided comfort and safety to start a new adventure. Your friends from high school and your hometown are separating, some of you going to college far away, others of you staying near home.

Either way, this means you will need to make new friends in college. Yes, you will likely keep in touch with your best friends from home. But making new friendships in college will offer you new experiences, open you up to new cultures, and allow you to make more friends that you can keep for life.

Here's how to make new friends in college.

How to Make New Friends in College

In college, you're responsible for managing a fast-paced academic schedule, which requires a lot of time and attention.

This is one of the reasons why it may seem difficult to make friends in college, even for the most social students. However, there are a few things that make it easier to make friends in college.

Today, we're exploring 11 ideas to help you get started. Take some time to give each of these ideas a try until you find a few that work for you.

– Be yourself
– Join a group
– Eat with fellow students
– Join a peer group
– Create a fun activity
– Go to class
– Develop your character
– Engage with campus social media
– Work on campus
– Focus on your health
– Study with a classmate

Let's take a closer look!

1. Be Yourself

If you want to know how to make new friends in college, you need to be yourself. This is an important aspect to developing new friendships, as it will ensure your friends are attracted to the real you. Your personality is great just the way it is. Don’t go changing it to please others. If potential friends want you to change and adapt to their way of living, they are not the right friends for you.

Allow your personality to shine through so that you will attract others with similar personalities.

2. Join A Group

College campuses are loaded with clubs to join, activities to attend and events to rock your semester. From student lead groups, sporting events, concerts, and academic department get-togethers, there is something going on several times a week.

Look at the Campus Calendar, pick something that sounds interesting, and attend.

3. Eat with Fellow Students

It can be tempting to eat your meals in your dorm room, alone. However, if you eat at least one meal in the campus cafeteria, you will find it easy and natural to meet other students. Many people find it easier to bond over food and so can you.

4. Join a Peer Group

College introduces a new set of responsibilities that can become overwhelmingly stressful. In fact, many students struggle with peer pressure, homesickness, lack of sleep, and poor nutrition, which are all just a few examples of some of the most common causes of stress in college students.

Joining a peer group can help relieve stress and connect you with people who understand what you're experiencing. Many colleges offer organized peer groups around activities, interests, or struggles. This provides an opportunity to connect with people who either share the same interest or understand what you're experiencing.

This is particularly helpful for students looking for support from people who understand their struggle. In fact, some groups provide peer to peer mentoring, which connects students with fellow students who have been through a similar experience.

5. Create a Fun Activity

If you aren’t finding activities on campus personally satisfying, that probably means you are not alone. There are other students wishing for better things to do. So instead of sitting around and waiting for the school to catch up with the times, create your own activity.

Be creative and enlist the help of others who share your passions. The activity you develop will likely introduce you to even more new friends.

6. Go to Class

Whether you are taking general education courses and trying to get through the first two years, or are taking classes in your major, going to class is one of the best ways to make new friends.

Most professors require students to work on group projects both in and outside of class. These small group projects can help you get to know your classmates a little better. Some groups may not produce any new friends, while other groups could lead to a long-lasting friendship.

7. Develop Your Character

Having multiple interests and skills means you will want to participate in a variety of programs. This means you will be placed in different environments with different people, many of which could become new friends.

If you are only focused on one thing, like soccer, for example, then it is likely you will only meet people involved in soccer on campus. However, if you have multiple interests, like gaming, soccer, music, and theater, then you give yourself many more chances for meeting new friends.

8. Engage in Campus Social Media

The best way to learn about events and activities is through your college social media groups. Don’t just join the group, engage with others online.

Social media can be a great ice breaker. Meaning, you get to meet people before you meet people. So, check the updates of groups that interest you and join them both online and offline.

9. Work on Campus

Working on campus is great. The library, the bookstore, the cafeteria, and athletic events are just a few of the great ways to earn extra money and meet new people. You may also be able to gain a work-study job that can help you with tuition and book costs.

10. Focus on Your Health

To make new friends, you must be able to attract others into your life. Most people are attracted to those who are happy and healthy. This means having a positive attitude, being approachable and welcoming, and having an overall likeability.

Taking care of your physical and mental health is of utmost importance. If you are experiencing trouble with your emotions, social skills, or even physical ailments, seek help.

There are many services on campuses that can help you become your best person.

11. Study with a Classmate

Joining or forming a study group is a great way to meet new friends or get to know old friends better. Studying together can show you a person’s character, work ethic, likes and dislikes of a person. These qualities can tell you if you want to pursue a friendship with them or not.

In addition, your grades will improve because you are using multiple tools to learn the information needed to pass an exam.


Now that you know how to make new friends in college, considering trying a few of these ideas until you find something that works for you. Meeting new friends in college may seem difficult on top of your academic responsibilities, but the benefits are worth the effort.

The key is to be proactive, take chances, and enjoy the rewards of new friendships.

Photo by Buro Millennial