Making friends in college

Harry, 21 and a dual citizen of both the United Kingdom and the United States is a recent graduate of The University of Cumbria in North West England where he completed a BA degree in Journalism. Born and raised in a tiny village outside of Newcastle, England he now resides in Brookline, Massachusetts where he is pursuing a career in sports media. A huge sports fan, Harry takes particular interest in soccer and hockey, sports he plays and follows closely.

A lot of people reading this that may not yet have embarked on their journey through college, most likely, will have made friends from various different situations as they have progressed through school life. Most likely you made friends with other kids in your catchment area and blissfully took on the challenges of school life with them. It is also possible that you relocated at some point through school life, in which case, you may have had to make friends in new environments. That fact of the matter is, school, for the most part is mandatory. This means on a daily basis you would find yourself in a “friends-making” environment.
College has its similarities and in all likelihood you will end up making friends with people that have majors and minors in common. For me this was certainly the case and a handful of my best friends today all majored the same thing I did, Journalism. However despite us being a close-knit friendship group I wouldn’t go as far to suggest that these were the only friends I made. Don’t be daunted therefore if you turn up for classes and don’t hit it off with anyone you may happen to strike up a conversation with. Journalism as an example in particular is such a broad subject, yes I made friends, but due in part to the highly opinionated nature of course there were also a number of students I clashed with. Be that in interests, or in opinions.
So what are my interests? I am a soccer player first and foremost. It is the sport I live and breathe and nothing makes me happier than picking up a game. This being said, while in college I started a team with other students, we quickly became very good friends and still speak a year after graduation. Stemming from this experience the suggestion I would make is to name a hobby you really enjoy, see if there is something set up connected to that hobby for you to actively participate in and if there isn’t, set it up yourself. It shouldn’t take too much work and the likelihood is, you will find others that wanted to do the same thing but just couldn’t find a place to do it. There are a ton of clubs to join in college but if you don’t see one you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to add another.
Now let’s discuss living arrangements. I went straight into a house my freshmen year with three other freshmen roommates. We were all strangers. I had a lot in common with one and very little in common with the other two. The key is openness. No matter how much in common you have with your roommates you want to be as open as possible. They may have friends that you have more in common with and keeping an open and friendly relationship with the roommate opens these avenues too. It goes without saying that if you are placed into a dorm and spend the first semester with your door closed, you are sending off all the wrong messages, if that is you are looking to build relationships.
Finally, remember that almost everyone at college as a freshman is in the same boat. It may be intimidating but just remind yourself it is intimidating for every new student starting college life. Just smile and be positive and it will make you more approachable and more susceptible to starting friendships which will in turn lead to you having a far more pleasant college experience.

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