The 2022-2023 school year has finally begun at Fairfield University which means new beginnings for everybody, especially the freshmen. Just a year ago I was a timid freshman myself. If I could sum up my first week with one word it would be emotional. I didn’t even know it was possible to experience all of these emotions in such a short time.
One thing that was constant my entire first week, was the fact that I did not have a typical college close group of friends yet. I mean let’s face it, every movie that is set in college always features a set of close friends, who then become your best friends for life. Well, imagine how I felt when I ended that week with no best friend.
I honestly felt lied to. As I would walk around campus or eat in the Tully I noticed all of these friend groups, and I constantly asked myself “why don’t I have a friend group yet?” I was so confused as to how everyone cliqued up so fast during the first week.
Now I look back and I wish someone would have told me that it is completely normal to have not found your best friends during the first week of college. In fact, most people don’t meet their “best friends” until after freshman year! If you are feeling sad or alone because you were like me, that is completely alright and pretty normal. Believe it or not, so many people are in the same situation, but they just don’t show it.
Social media can be extremely misleading. I remember scrolling through my feed and wondering how everyone made friends so fast. However, in reality, many of those people might have felt sad as well, you just would not know it! College is a huge transition, and not everything is perfect at first. It takes time. Be open to change, even embrace it!
It can be really hard putting yourself out there socially. It’s draining, difficult and stressful. The key is to think positively and confidently about yourself. Sometimes our minds trick us into thinking that somebody doesn’t like us or that we are being too annoying for people, but that is not the case. In fact, other people might be thinking the same exact things as you. Just remember that everyone is in the same boat as you, and everyone wants to make new friends. Now, here are some of my tips for meeting new people.
Ask for people’s numbers in your classes. I often found myself having questions about homework or assignments, so I would turn to classmates for answers. A lot of times friendships can blossom through classes. You two have a common ground in this blossoming relationship, and that is whatever class you’re in. Do not be afraid to ask them if they want to grab coffee or lunch sometime. Talk about something funny that happened in class or see if you both have something in common. I met a few of my friends that way!
Talk to the people on your floor! Don’t shy away from knocking on someone’s door to see if they wanted to grab something to eat or ask if they had plans that night. If you want to make an impact on your floormates I suggest giving out candy. I once gave out bags of candy to the girls on my floor just so I could introduce myself to them. That small gesture really made an impact. Also, people love candy! Your floormates are also right there, so if you want to do something knock on their door!
This is very cliche, however, it is so effective: join clubs, intramurals or other extracurricular activities. Not only are these activities a great way to meet new people, but it is also a great way to get out of your comfort zone and do something. Last year I joined a few clubs and I met a lot of new people, but I also noticed I was getting out of my dorm more often than usual. I also met new friends in these clubs. Clubs and intramurals are a great way to meet people who have similar interests and to have fun with them!
Those are only just a few of the many ways you can make new friends on campus this year. You are not required to create a friend group in the first week of your first semester of your first year of college. People change in college, and so will you. You will meet so many people throughout the next year. Just remember to be open to new experiences, do not be afraid to talk to people and just be yourself!
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