Now is a very good time to start freaking out. Why? Because if you’re a soon to be college freshman, that soon is getting closer and closer. You’ve got a month at most to squeeze every last bit of fun out of summer before you’re surrounded by dorm room walls, gasping for breath under a mountain of outrageously expensive textbooks. Not only that, but your friends won’t be there to help you out of your book-tomb, or in my case, to point and laugh as you struggle to free yourself. No, you will be completely, utterly, hopelessly alone.
Wait! Don’t go dropping out of college just yet. I’m not trying to scare you… well actually, I was, but that’s not the point. The thing is, as terrifying as it is to be going someplace where you know no one, it’s also kind of exhilarating in that dear-God-I’m-going-to-die feeling you get when you reach the top of a roller coaster sort of way. Besides, meeting people and making friends in college really isn’t so hard, especially if you follow Faye’s Tricking People Into Thinking You’re A Normal Human Being Tips.
Step 1: Find a person. There’s definitely no shortage of people at college. You’ll meet people in your dorm, classes, the gym, etc. Literally everywhere you go, there will be someone new. Still not enough people for you? Join a few clubs, sports, or religious organizations—as added bonus, you’ve already got something in common with the people in these groups.
Step 2: Start a conversation. Begin a conversation by being yourself. I have no sense of direction, so I got lost quite a few times my first week on campus. Fun Fact: Did you know that there’s a room in the basement of this building with the same room number as this room, except that that room’s a corrosive chemicals lab? I’m also not the most graceful person. So, I almost got hit by a bus this morning. Sometimes I just say whatever pops into my head. Hi, I noticed you lived down the hall from me. Will you be my friend? Just start with something fun, something you have in common (the class, the teacher, the hot RA), or something that will make the other person laugh.
Also, a little compliment goes a long way. “I really love your necklace” or “Your boots are so cute” might score you a conversation and a shopping buddy. Two conditions apply to compliments though: 1) you actually have to mean it, and 2) you'll have better luck if you use this on people of the same sex. Otherwise, you'll probably sound like you're hitting on your potential friend.
Step 3: Ask their name. After you start a conversation, find out who the heck you’re talking to. “I’m Faye, by the way,” will normally lead to the other person revealing their name. Here’s the catch—actually pay attention to what they say. I have an awful habit of instantly forgetting aperson’s name as soon as they say it. Don’t do that, or else you’ll have to play the good ol' wait until someone else asks them their name game.
Step 4: Get to know them. You will be asked the following 3 questions so many times you will want to throw up.
- Where are you from?
- What dorm are you living in?
- What’s your major?
Once you get sick of telling everyone, “Engineering, undecided, but I’m leaning toward Mechanical or Civil,” just start making things up. Find the most obscure major your college offers and declare it as your lifelong dream. Don’t fall back on those “safe” icebreaker questions, either, because everyone else is just as sick of them as you are. Try some of these alternatives out instead.
- Have you ever committed a crime?
- If you could have dinner with 5 people living or dead, who would you pick? (Personally, I’d go with Einstein, Teddy Roosevelt, Jane Austen, Jesus, and, of course, Morgan Freeman so he could narrate.)
- What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
- What’s the one movie you think every person should watch at least once?
- What is the most embarrassing song on your iPod?
- How do you say drawer, crayon, water, bagel, [insert another word that people from different places say differently]? My friends constantly harass me for how I say water (wor-der).
- Hey I just met you / And this is crazy / But here’s my number / So call me, maybe?
Step 5: Friendship.
Got any more making new friends tips or questions to ask people you just met? Leave them in the comments!