The night before I moved into Benags for the start of sophomore year, I sat down and wrote a list of 10 goals I wanted to accomplish this year.
The one that stuck with me throughout this past year has been “meet new people”.
Before coming to college I was beyond shy and always needed someone I knew to do the friend making for me. Even today, I’m still not the “life of the party” and I still get uncomfortable in big crowds or places where I don’t know anyone.
Over the summer, I realized I didn’t know that many people in my grade and I knew I needed to branch out and have more than 1 friend group. The first thing I did was ask my close friend Jimmy, who knew about 75% of the campus, how to make new friends. He gave me some good advice about doing clubs and also said he’d help introduce me to people. I just needed a little bit more direction than that and I know a lot of others do too.
I’m going to skip the recap of my sophomore year and when I met all of my close friends and just get straight to the point.
Before I share the best ways to meet new people on campus, I just want to prove that this actually does work. I have met at least 60 (probably more) people this year that I say hi to around campus or go out with. I also am living with 7 of my best friends next year- none of which I even spoke to last year. If you told me last year that my best friends would be Katie, Jen, and Meg I’d say “you’re crazy, I don’t even know them!”
So here’s how I did it:
1- Join Clubs: I know that this is the most repeated and cliche thing to say, but it’s true. My ENACTUS team has some of my good friends on it and I didn’t even know them last year. Also, my club soccer team that was made this year is now full of 20+ other girls that are now my close friends. We’ve all gone to Rev’s games, hung out, and gotten dinner a few times together.
2-Go Out: No, this one isn’t just for the partiers. I don’t just mean go out on the weekends, I mean literally go out of your room!! So many people I know just chilled in their room and didn’t make any effort to meet people. Whether it’s to a football game, to dinner, to bingo, or to a party- if someone asks you to go you need to go! Netflix will be there when you get back, I promise. When you go out to these social events, you’re going to meet people through the friend that brought you and you might even click with them and start hanging out more!
3-Talk to people in your classes: Whether it’s asking them about class or if they’ve heard about the new business building, starting one conversation could lead to a friendship down the line.
4-Volunteer: Whether it’s doing a HOPE trip, the urban plunge, or just volunteering off campus once a week, you’ll meet people that have the same interest and goal as you- to help people. I personally took a leap of faith and signed up for the Urban Plunge trip to NYC last winter. I didn’t know anyone on the trip, but by the end we were all close friends!
5-Take a travel LC: Once again, I took another leap of faith and signed up for a travel LC that went to Germany over spring break. In Germany, we all bonded and became close friends through travel, tours, and the occasional round of BBGs at the Dubliner. I’m actually going to be living with 6 of the girls that were in my LC this year!
6-Study Abroad: I personally haven’t done this one yet (but I will spring 2018!!). From talking to upperclassmen, they have made so many friends from around the world while studying abroad. I mean it’s basically freshman year all over again- except in a foreign country where you probably can’t speak the language. Everyone needs a travel buddy and you’ll be sure to find one!
7-Get a job on campus: This summer, I worked the summer @ Stonehill camp for the month of July and let me tell you- best month of my life. Within the second day myself and my coworkers (none of whom I even knew before this) were telling each other our secrets. We still talk everyday and will be sure to hang out once we get back to campus.
8-Ask a friend to tag along: This might be the most basic, yet best one on the list. This is genuinely how I made 90% of my new friends sophomore year. If a friend is going to the football game, to dinner with someone you don’t know, or to a party- ask if you can come. I guarantee that your friend will probably say yes! Once you start hanging with those people more, you will definitely develop close friendships of your own!
Now get out there and make a goal to meet at least 10 new people this year!