I used to think that making friends in college would be super easy. Just join groups on campus that you share common interests with and boom! You have friends. However, even though I am a part of a couple organizations on campus, I wasn’t able to build strong friendships with those around me due to two distinct reasons.
Firstly, the new people I met in college ended up changing dramatically over the course of freshman and sophomore year and I just didn’t want to be as close to them anymore. With saying that, I am aware that growing and changing is a part of the college experience because I, too, have changed a lot since my freshman year.
However, the new people that I became friends with at one point changed to the point where our outlook on life and college were so different and I didn’t feel like we were on the same page anymore.
Thus, when my new college friends starting changing in ways I had never predicted, I started to gravitate towards people I have known in high school because these were people I trusted and had known for years.
On the other hand, another reason I feel like I was able to build new friendships was due to me starting a new relationship a couple of months after starting college. I think I got super caught up with my boyfriend that I kind of took a back seat when it came to meeting new people. Looking back, I wish that I would have taken the time to really forge those new friendships because now I feel like my only friends are the people who I have known since before college.
Now, I do want to mention that I am not saying that only being friends with people I have known prior to college is a bad thing - I really cherish and love those friendships. However, I do feel like college is the time to meet, interact and form relationships with new people. Thus, I really want to work on my social life in the last two years I will be in college.
I want to push myself to go outside my comfort zone and although I am nervous about it, I think it will be worth it in the end.
So, I guess this article is not really about how to make friends in college, but rather a hopeful notion that you can always put yourself out there and try to build new friendships no matter where you are in your college career. It is hard and kind of intimidating, but it’s better to try now then to look back after college and regret not doing anything at all.