Even though leaving high school friends behind can be a somber experience, you should be looking forward to all the new people you have yet to meet! While it may be intimidating, your orientation is the place to begin making new friends and finding like-minded individuals to help you through your next four years of school. Ready to meet your new pals? Here are four steps to make new friends while at freshman orientation.
Step 1: Envision the Friends You Want
One of the benefits to starting anew as a freshman is deciding who your friends will be. You can choose with whom you socialize with — those in your residence hall, people sharing your major, or personalities similar to (or opposite from!) you. Planning in advance of what qualities and personalities you want in friends will help you spot potentials during your orientation events.
Keep an open mind and an open heart to the people that truly interest you and make you feel comfortable in your own skin! Your future BFF may just be that geeky girl playing video games in the student lounge who you would never have talked to before.
Step 2: Go to Them
Your orientation will be full of opportunities to socialize, network, and meet other fellow students. These social activities, games, or parties may seem lame or unlike something you want to try, but they are just where new friends can be found!
With the vision of your future friends, look at the agenda your college has given you. If you are looking for friends in your major, sign up for that professor meet and greet, or the ice cream social for your department. If you want to meet intellectuals, take a pre-college course offered by your university or check out if the library is hosting a study group.
Step 3: Get up the Courage
Attending a dorm-sponsored activity like game night or joining a special interest club may seem daunting, especially if you don’t yet know anyone. But keep in mind…everyone around you is going through the same thing! All first-year students at some point feel hesitant and awkward.
Even if you’re feeling out of sorts, freshman orientation is a great time to make a move. Get up the courage to attend an event or invite out some friendly faces to lunch. Ask to sit next to people at an activity. Offer a seat to someone who also looks lost and confused. Your bravery will be infectious, and it will set you up for success in the friendship department.
Step 4: Initiate the Next Step
Now that you have been through the process of introducing yourself and have established the beginning stages of a friendship, you need to put in some extra work to stay in contact. Use social media, email, and phone numbers to contact everyone during the first day of classes. Check in on how their first few days of an activity went or offer to come help during move in.
The more you put yourself out there, the more people will get to know you, trust you, and ultimately befriend you. Don’t be too overbearing or in your face and do not be disappointed if one or two new friendships fizzle out in the first few months after orientation. Instead, try your best to be warm, welcoming, and open to opportunities. After all, you never know where a new friend might be waiting for you.
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