College is coming! It’s a scary time, a new environment, new people. Sometimes it’s really intimidating to make friends. But don’t worry, it’s pretty easy, here’s what you need:
1. A Smile
Smiling automatically makes you approachable. Most students are just as confused and worried as you are, so smiling is an easy way of showing people that you’re friendly.
It also helps calm your nerves!
Be confident. You are here for a reason. It’s really easy to let other people’s smarts make you feel inadequate, but realize that everyone has something to bring to the table, including you! And it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to fall flat a few times, as long as you get back up, learn your lessons, and just keep going.
Don’t be afraid to go up to people studying for your class or eating in the dining hall – just introduce yourself. After all, you are your biggest supporter!
3. An Open Mind
College is an opportunity to open your horizons and expand your view of the world to something beyond yourself. Don’t get caught up in judgements of other people or cultures; be open to different perspectives and take it as a chance to learn something new!
4. Genuine Interest
Listen to people, genuinely. Remember that it is not about you, it is about them. Chances are you are not the most interesting person in the room – you’ve lived with yourself for about 18 years, so go give yourself a break and try to learn about somebody else!
When you take the time to listen and are genuinely interested in knowing more about someone, it’s surprising how much people are willing to open up.
5. Better Conversation Starters
Upgrade your small talk. Go beyond typical introductions. Most people will ask for your name, major, and where you’re from.
Instead, learn to ask why. Ask people why they chose their major, what their name means, and what has been the biggest adjustment they’ve had to make. Not only does it get people thinking, it often makes for much better conversation!
When meeting new people and making new friends, the realistic worst case scenario is they don’t engage in much conversation and you’ve learned that they’re not very interested in talking to you.
But best-case scenario, you might just learn something incredibly interesting, get to know somebody better, have a good conversation, and even make a new friend!
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I am a student, a traveler, an activist, a meditation instructor…. and a blogger!
Come join me on my journey.