Being on campus with 30,000 other people can make you feel like just a number or a name on a list – I know I did. Add being an introvert on top of that and you’ve got yourself a lonely semester.
Nothing is wrong with needing time to yourself. Don’t ever put yourself in a situation you don’t want to just because you think you need to be “normal.” But college is a once in a lifetime experience.
Some people can just walk up to someone, introduce themselves and become best friends. And some people can’t. Here are some easy ways you can meet people without throwing yourself out of your comfort zone:
One easy way to ease yourself into making friends is to make one in each class. Just one person so class isn’t as intimidating, and you have a study buddy. This could turn into a long-term friendship if you really hit it off or, if you don’t, next semester you never have to see them again.
Somehow, some way, you will end up talking to someone. Whether it’s because they dropped a pencil near you or you’re in a group project.
In a Tutoring/Study Group
Almost every university has free tutoring or supplemental instruction. This breaks down your class into an a smaller crowd and often times they make you work in groups. Since you’re working on the same problem, no ice breaker needed.
And the next time you go to class you will have a familiar face or two. Study sessions usually involve a few breaks to just talk about anything but college algebra for a second, so you can get to know them in a comfortable situation.
Join a Club
Getting involved may seem like a daunting task at first, but if you are already interested in an organization or activity, going to an open house is great since you already share a common interest. Clubs sizes can vary, but typically there is no more than 10 people.
Talking to people about a subject you are already familiar with will relieve some stress. And since open houses usually begin with just a one-on-one conversation it won’t seem as intimidating at first.
You don’t have to be in your dorm all day to recharge. Studying, reading or writing outside on a bench or under a tree will invite people to just say hi. Sometimes just having someone else make the first move helps not to get anxious.
Even going to a local coffee shop can lead to a friendship. Overhearing other people’s conversations can sometimes consist of an interest of your own. Join in! I know it can be scary, but many people go to coffee shops to make new friends.