Four friends sitting on the ground together eating slices of pizza

4 Ways to Make Friends in College

Natalie Daniels Sep 12, 2023

College is an exciting chapter for anybody. You’re about to embark on an adventure full of self-discovery. However, it also can be daunting. You have to leave your family and friends and interact with totally new people. At times, it can feel lonely figuring out how to make friends in college. 

Luckily, everyone is in the same boat. Friendships in college can impact many things, your happiness, opportunities, and so much more.


How long does it take to make friendships in college?

There’s no timetable for how long it takes to make friends in college. You could find your platonic soulmate the first week of college or even your sophomore year. Either way, it’s important to go out and meet people, regardless if they become long-term meaningful friendships. 

Whether you’re about to start college and you’re nervous about meeting people, or you’re an upperclassman stressing about returning, here are four tips on how to make friends in college.


Get to know your roommate and the people who live on your floor

The first impression you’ll make is probably with your roommate. Whether you live in a double, triple, or suite-style situation with multiple people, these will be the peers you spend the most time with. 

Try to connect with your roommate virtually before you even start school if possible. That way, it’ll feel like you know at least one person. Your roommate will probably feel nervous about meeting people too. You can go to the dining hall together, go to big sporting games, or try clubs together. 

Depending on the school, some residence halls have an open-door policy where other students will keep their doors open so people can walk in and out to chat. If you create the coolest dorm room filled with all your favorite colors and interests, you can attract even more people to your room for a fun conversation starter.


Join clubs 

One of the best ways to connect with others is through similar interests. Are you a fitness machine? Do you like writing? Do you enjoy volunteering? Or maybe you like to sing or dance? Regardless, there’s a club for everything in college. 

Check out your school’s activity fair where all the clubs on campus meet to recruit new people. When you join activities you enjoy, you’ll find like-minded people, which will help you have deeper conversations with people and lead to meaningful relationships. 

Many colleges offer sororities and fraternities too. If you decide to go to a Greek life orientation or rush for a house, you’ll meet lots of new people and make plenty of new connections.


Plan study sessions with your classmates 

Another smart way to forge friendships in college is to hang out with fellow students in your classes. Maybe there’s a big test coming up, a paper, or a project. Reach out to your classmates and host your own study session where people can pull their organizing tools together, notes, and thinking-caps on to help each other. Try to set up the study section in the library, a study room, or even your own dorm. And don’t forget snacks. Those always help lighten the mood. When people work together for a common goal, it helps to cement a connection.  

Whether you’re in a class for your college major that can help you change the world or an introductory course like college writing, your classmates can make long-lasting friends. 


Attend big college events 

Why not jump headfirst and go to a big college event? You'll meet all kinds of people from your school’s football games, career fairs, or live performances. 

If you’re more introverted, go with a roommate, classmate, or friend. These big events with many people can be overwhelming. Having someone by your side can only help you.


It’s okay to feel lonely sometimes 

While there are many ways to make meaningful friendships in college, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. Sometimes it can feel quite lonely in the process of meeting new people. There may be days when you’re excited about meeting a new friend and other days when you feel like you don’t have anyone. 


Remember to take some to focus on you because you know yourself the best. The friendships will come when they are supposed to. All you can do is be your most authentic self and the rest will fall in place.