Do you remember the last time you had to make friends? For some of us, it was way back in elementary school. For others, like myself, maybe you had to move schools and start the process of making new friends in high school. No matter what, you must set out on this adventure of making new friends once again as you begin the next chapter of your life in college. 

There is no real art or blueprint to making friends. This realization was hard for me to accept since I am an organizational planner. As hard as I tried to develop a meticulous plan to make friends, I had to let go and just be open to all of the opportunities I had to build new friendships.

Before I came to college I was an introvert, and the idea of having to talk to strangers and engage with people I had never even seen before really scared me. Truthfully, this feeling of fear and doubt in my ability to make friends lasted just one day. That one day was the day before I had even stepped foot on campus. 

 Believe it or not, the second I met up with my new roommate and walked out on the quad at Welcome Weekend, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and excitement. I felt like I belonged and was confident that in no time I would meet some lifelong friends. 

Now that you have gotten a glimpse of who I am and my journey to finding friends, I wanted to share some of the best advice I have for making friends in college!


Talk to People!

I know, I know, this seems like a no-brainer, but the best thing you can do is be open to conversation. If you are feeling extra brave maybe try to initiate a conversation with someone. People want to get to know you, and the best way to do that is through conversation.

The first day of Welcome Weekend my roommate and I set out on the quad. Both of us were incredibly nervous but were determined to at least become acquainted with a few people. It took a lot of bravery, but I was very glad to have my roommate by my side. 

Funny story: The first people we met on Welcome Weekend are actually our best friends! Crazy right?! How we met them is even crazier! My roommate and I started approaching these two boys we had recognized from the George Fox Class of ’25 page. After much deliberation and back-and-forth of encouraging each other, saying “We can do this, they aren’t scary,” my roommate addressed one of the boys and said, “Aren’t you the kid who takes the 360 photos from the GFU ’25 page?” And the rest is history…

No, but really, just by striking up conversation, I have met some of the greatest people, and you can too! Everyone is trying to make friends; it just takes initiating a conversation to begin that friendship.

Attend Events

Go to all of the activities during Welcome Weekend. Go to the dances, clubs, campfires, dorm floor events, go to everything! Just attending is a great way to surround yourself with people who may have similar interests as you or may also be looking for some new friends!

I used to get a little overwhelmed at the thought of going to a big event. It definitely took me some time to get comfortable with going to so many different events, but it was all worth it. I met so many new people at events like the ’80s Dance, the Hoedown and Pancake Nights. 


Hang Out in a High-Traffic Area

If you want to be acquainted with some familiar but unknown faces, try spending some time in your dorm lobby. My roommate and I spent a lot of time with our friends in the Edwards lobby watching people play ping pong, joining in on playing board games, and doing homework with other people. 

There is truly nothing like just having a familiar face to count on. Every day I would walk through the lobby, I could count on one of my friends to be there to greet me. She would ask me how my day was, and we would check in on each other before we went on with our day. We met one day when we were both hanging out in the lobby and we have been friends ever since. 

Leave Your Door Open

Leaving your door open is probably the most repeated piece of advice I have received when coming to college. Personally, I tried not to spend too much time in my dorm; I wanted it to be a place I could come back and relax. Nevertheless, when I was in my dorm, my door was likely open.

The first week of school my roommate and I left our door open as much as we could, and we met a lot of people this way. Lots of the girls on our floor would stop by just to look at all of our decorations, which was an unexpected conversation starter.

Many people on my floor left their doors open too, which allowed for great conversation among rooms. As well, whenever someone had received a treat from family or even made their own baked goods they would leave their door open to share with our floor. I loved doing this because who doesn’t love a homemade cookie and good conversation!?


Be Open-Minded!

My final and most important tip is to be open-minded and welcoming of new relationships. The best thing you can do in any situation is just love your neighbor and show them love and kindness. If they become a close friend then that’s awesome; if not, now you have another familiar face on campus. There is truly no harm in being kind and welcoming to anyone that crosses your path. 

This is a new journey for many, but I know you can do it! Remember, the people here on campus want to KNOW you for you. Just go out, be yourself, and have fun! 

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