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How to Make Friends in College

Last updated September 24, 2023

How to Connect to Your College Community

The first year of college brings a lot of change to a student’s life– new school, new campus, and maybe even a new city or state! While you have many great new experiences to look forward to during your first year of college, one of the most exciting parts by far is meeting new people and making friends. Here are some ways to connect to your community and make new friends in college!

Three friends sit at a cafe table. Books, a Mac computer, and coffee cups surround them - How to Make Friends in College


New student orientation gets you all set up to start your new life as a college student. While you’ll take care of some practical things during orientation, like receiving your student ID or registering for classes, it’s also set up to introduce new students to each other. The idea of meeting a lot of new people at once can sound overwhelming or intimidating, but putting yourself out there and being open to new friendships will go a long way when starting college. Everyone around you is also new and sharing similar feelings! As you begin to find your community, your school will feel more like home.

On-campus spots

Once classes begin, there are many other spots around campus to make new friends and build community! These include:

  • Your residence hall. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone in your dorm or on your floor and ask them to grab dinner or coffee with you! They want to make new friends, too!
  • The dining hall. Feeling bold? Ask to join someone’s table if they have an empty seat in the dining hall! Ask them about where they’re from, what they’re majoring in, and what their favorite things to do on campus are. Even if you don’t end up being close friends with this person, you likely will have learned something new from them!
  • Class. Taking a challenging class? Set up a study group with some classmates. Not only will you strengthen your knowledge of the class material together, you’ll likely make some new friends!

Clubs and student organizations

Ask your RA or someone on your floor about any student clubs or organizations that they’re familiar with, or check your school’s website to find a full list. Check the social media profiles of clubs or organizations that you’re interested in to find out where and when they meet, and attend a meeting! You’ll meet new people you can bond with over shared interests.


Having a part-time job in college is very common, and also a great way to get to know people. If you land an on-campus work-study job, there’s a high chance you’ll be working with other students. Strike up conversations with your new coworkers and ask to hang out or study together outside of work.


No matter where you attend college, there’s always something happening around campus! Check out your school’s activities office for a list of on-campus events like socials, talks, performances, and more! Your school may even have events geared toward new students that you can attend to meet new people.

Need some support as you transition to college? Text #College to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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