College and the Quarter-Life: Making Friends 101

1)   Get involved.

Join clubs and organizations where you will meet people with similar interests to yours. It sounds cliché, but getting involved with clubs and organizations that serve your interests means that you will be among people that share those interests. You’ve got something to talk about and something in common right off the bat!

2)   Put yourself out there.

Here’s how my routine goes… “Hi, are you waiting to go into math with Smith?” Response: “Yes, and I’ve heard this class is really hard.” “Me too. I’m pretty nervous. By the way, I’m Beth.” Response: “Hi, I’m Jack. It’s nice to meet you.” Before class starts, I always find a person to make small talk with and it always seems that we miraculously become friends. Sometimes all it takes to make a friend is to start a really simple conversation. It’s not complicated and it’s not too scary. Chances are, your new friend also wanted to say hi, but just didn’t have the confidence to do so.

3)   Be nice.

It sounds silly, but everyone is attracted to someone who is nice. There are fewer qualities that are greater than being nice. Removing an abrasive or unapproachable veneer will automatically attract other people to you.

4)   Use where you live to your advantage.

Making friends with other people in your dorm, apartment complex, or community is a great resource. I’ve found that other people also like the idea of living in a friendly community. You always have someone to help you open your jar of pickles or to hang out with if you don’t feel like being home alone. There’s nothing wrong with walking over to your neighbor’s home, saying hello, and making conversation. I’ve made some great friends this way and I’ve loved living among friends.

5)   Be genuinely interested in what other people say.

Showing other people that you really care by listening to them and genuinely being interested in their life and what they have to say is such an easy way to make friends. People are immediately attracted to others that show them compassion and sincerity.

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