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Making friends at college

Are you nervous about starting college? Here are some easy ways to increase your social circle.

Written by Marian Lawler and posted in opinion

This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for please contact

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Starting college can be daunting; being thrown into a situation with a bunch of strangers can be a cause of serious anxiety. When it comes to making friends in college there are a few things you can do to make the transition period easier on yourself.

Firstly be yourself, college can seem like the perfect time to break out that new look and it is a nice opportunity to update your style but in situations like these it is better to be comfortable with how you look, if you are uncomfortable or self conscious it will be harder to relax around new people.

Secondly, talk to people. It can often seem after a few days in, that everyone already knows each other very well and you can feel like an outsider quite quickly. The key is, if you see a group of classmates sitting or talking together don’t avoid them or sit somewhere else, walk straight up and join them. Just pull up a chair or say hello, remember everyone is new and looking to make friends so the best thing you can do is be open and friendly. If you see a person who is shy and not great at approaching people, talk to them; invite them into the conversation or group. No one likes to feel isolated so try putting yourself in other people’s shoes.

Join societies, but not too many. Societies are a great way of getting to know people inside and outside your class. It can be tempting to join ten societies because they seem interesting but you are much better off just joining one or two and actually keeping up with them. Having common interests with other people in the society can make for great friendships and societal achievements look great to future employers as they show real passion and interest in an area.

Finally, have fun! Go to fresher’s week events and socialise, especially in the first few weeks. It is a good opportunity to get to know people in a less pressurised environment, but try to avoid drinking too much as this won't make a good impression.

It can take a while to discover who your really good friends will be, often they are not the people you hang out with at the very beginning of college. Some of my best college friends I didn’t get to really know until second or third year. The best advice I can give is talk to everyone and don’t worry if other people seem to have a large social group from the off. Great friendships take time to grow and blossom so be patient and most importantly, be yourself.

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Published Jan­u­ary 17th2013
Last updated July 30th2018
Tags college friends relationships university
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