Adults always say “college will be the best four years of your life.” This can be an overwhelming thought because most students go into their first year not knowing many people. It’s hard to imagine the next four years without knowing who will be by your side.
Luckily, meeting people on campus is extremely easy. It’s important to take advantage of the opportunities you have to meet people and the key is to be confident when you approach a person or group. People will likely match your enthusiasm because everyone is in the same boat.
Here are a few ways to get to know the people you will be spending your best four years with
1. Go outside
Considering the fact that most colleges start the school year toward the end of August, the weather is likely to be beautiful your first week on campus. Chances are a lot of people will be walking around campus or sitting on the quad. Don’t be afraid to walk around by yourself! During my first week, I walked around the quad every day and ended up meeting a lot of people. Believe or not, it’s not that awkward. Often times it’s easy to strike up a conversation based on where the person or group is headed. You could join them at the bookstore or even just walk around campus and chat. Even though approaching people randomly seems overwhelming and weird, it’s actually a simple way to get to know students while exploring campus.
2. Go to the Dining Hall Alone
I know, it’s a classic high school movie scene. The new girl aimlessly walks around the cafeteria alone. She’s trying not to drop all her food as she pans the room for somewhere to sit. It’s everyone’s biggest fear, so most people like to go to the dining hall with a friend or group. It may seem intimidating, but walking up to a random table for a meal can be the most natural way to meet someone. You have an excuse to sit, something to do (eat), and something to talk about (FOOD!). By the time your meal is over, you and your new friends are likely to be chatting about the gross dining hall food or crying over math homework together.
3. Open Your Door
A big part of your first few days is setting up your dorm and organizing all your new college gear. We tend to spend a lot of time in our room, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still meet people. If you open your door while you're setting up your dorm or even just watching a movie, you’d be surprised at how many people stop in. A lot of people are busy in and out of the dorms the first week, so it’s likely that a decent amount of people will pass by. It’s easy to start a conversation with someone that walks in because you can talk about what you were just doing. For example, if they walk in while your watching your favorite show, you can discuss the show and possibly find a common interest. Keeping your door open gives people living around you a chance to introduce themselves. This is ideal because they will be living near you for the whole year.
4. Sit in the Lounge
The best part of dorm life is that there are always people around the building to hangout with. I rarely walk past an empty lounge and people are always talking or watching television together. A great way to meet people is to simply just sit in the lounge. Chances are they will be very welcoming and you will be able to join into the conversation. A lot of times people are watching television or a movie, so you can comment on what they're watching or what you think of it to get a conversation going. One of my favorite things to do is work on homework in the lounge because I’m getting work done, but I’m not cramped up alone. It’s a great way to multitask and get a conversation going.
Be open-minded about who you talk to and get to know. Friendship will work itself out naturally, but you have to put yourself out there the first week.