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How to Make Friends in College

Wondering how to make friends in college? Grace College journeys with you in the transition to college. Learn more about life at college.

Friends are an essential part of college life. Who else will join you on your late-night slushy runs and offer a sympathetic ear during finals week?

Making friends in your transition to college may seem confusing or even terrifying, especially if you’re a reserved person or have had the same group your entire life. But here’s a secret: Plenty of other students feel the exact same way. The trick is to find them.

Most college students find community through means such as clubs, campus activities, and even residence halls. By taking advantage of what your school offers and creating your own opportunities, you’ll find your people in no time.

Wondering how to make friends in college? Read on to find out!


Take initiative.

No matter your personality, initiating conversations with strangers can feel intimidating. But think about it this way: If you’re hoping to be approached by someone, chances are that others are too. Take the risk, and you’ll be surprised by how many people are willing to have a conversation.

Ask to join someone eating alone at a dining hall. Invite a classmate to a social event outside of class. If you’ve made one or a few friends already, introduce yourself to their larger social network.

If you look for opportunities, you’ll find them.

Join clubs.

In “The Four Loves,” C.S. Lewis wrote that friendship is born from the words, “‘What? You too?”

We build strong friendships around commonality, whether that’s a value, interest, or trait. While you should avoid seeking only those identical to you, search for the people who care about what you do. With these kinds of friends, conversations last for hours.

College clubs, both school-founded and student-run, exist for those wondering how to make friends in college. You have more options than you probably realize! 

Join a faith-based club or Bible study to connect with those who have the same firmly held convictions as you. If you belong to a certain culture or have a deep interest in one, search for cultural clubs. Consider opportunities like student leadership, theatre, intramurals, club sports, volunteering organizations, political clubs, or the student newspaper.

Do you have an interest that isn’t represented on campus? Create your own club or group!


Attend campus events.

Colleges feature both their own activities and student-run events. Attend both!

Bring a group, or go solo. You never know just how you might meet a future buddy, whether in line at an improv show or in the stands at a soccer game. Even if you haven’t made any connections, you’ll leave with broadened horizons and a new experience. And soon enough, you’ll be a familiar face to those with whom you cross paths.


Get to know your hall.

If you’re wondering how to make friends in college, look no further than your hallmates. They’re the people you’ll see the most often, aside from your classmates and current friends. Check if your residence hall hosts social events, or look into organizing one.

If you’d like to go the extra mile, find out whether your school offers living-learning communities (LLCs). LLCs are residential halls geared toward students with a commonality, such as an interest or identity.

For example, Grace College’s Encompass Apartments provide American students the opportunity to room with an exchange student. Encompass residents experience cultural immersion daily, participating in hall activities and monthly student-run theme nights.

Wondering how to make friends in college? Grace College journeys with you in the transition to college. Learn more about life at college.

Attend orientation events.

If you’re an incoming freshman wondering how to make friends in college, research social events happening the summer before school starts. Your college probably offers tours, where you can meet current students and faculty.

Many schools dedicate entire days in the summer to incoming freshmen. For example, Grace College hosts PreUnion Lake Days to facilitate community, in which students enjoy swimming, beach volleyball, and rides on Grace’s boat.


Making friends at Grace College

At Grace College, we understand how difficult making friends can be during your transition to college, especially on a campus full of strangers. That’s why Grace structures your freshman year to ensure you’ll get to know other students.

As a first-year student, you’ll be assigned to a breakout group of about fifteen students, and you’ll be assigned an upperclassman student mentor and a faculty mentor. The Hike, Grace’s freshman orientation event, will introduce you to the students in your group. Over the school year, you’ll have four classes with these people. Consider them your built-in buddies!

You’ll also attend Growth Groups, weekly Bible studies with your residence hall. As you spend more time in the Word at Growth Groups, you’ll enjoy closer community with your leader and hallmates.

At Grace College, the question isn’t whether you’ll make friends. It’s who and when.


Learn more about campus involvement at Grace College, and explore admissions.

Tagged With: Campus Life