Making friends in college is daunting to say the least. As a freshman, I remember life in the dorms and being intimidated by all that was available. I was even nervous and confused on how to approach others in my hall. With the vast ability to do whatever and whenever and being a semi-shy individual at the time, it was hard to find what I wanted my niche to be or know who I even was. One part of me would like to think it’s easier to make friends now, but I think that I’m still in the same boat; I just know how to navigate the playing field a little better.
I advocate highly for creating a relationship with your roommate(s). I know that sometimes things don’t always work out, but they are the person that you will always see at the end of the day and be there when you wake up in the morning. You don’t have to try to be someone you’re not, they’ll already see the real you by being in such close proximity, which can be nice in a way. You don’t have to break down any barriers or walls, you’re already being your authentic self in your very little space you now call home.
My Aunt Kim, who works at Northern (I know, I know, it’s our rival), has always given the best advice for making friend’s while in college. She always had something to say, as this is something she deals with quite often in her line of work on campus. “Don’t wait for an experience to come to you or for a great experience to happen. You need to make it happen.” This has been ingrained in my mind since day one of college. Constantly participating and putting yourself out there per se in terms of joining orgs. and attending events is crucial. How are you going to make friends by sitting in your dorm all the time? Which is funny to say, because that’s the boat we’re all in right now!
Despite being stuck inside due to the global pandemic, the university and all of the different orgs. have been really proactive in finding ways to still stay connected. It’s also nice, because everyone is in the same boat. We’re all figuring this out together, which has been making relationships even stronger, from what I’ve noticed. While you can’t physically go out and meet others, there are still zoom events and different orgs. on social networking platforms to connect with. There’s also E-sports, which I always forget about due to being busy with school and work, but I have only heard great things about it thus far. If you’re into video or computer games, that would probably be something really neat to check-out. I also know that Greek life is still doing recruitment at a safe distance, if that is something you’re interested in.
All in all, the message is – we hear you. It’s tough enough to make friends without the presence of a global pandemic putting a damper on just about everything face-to-face. In the meantime, give it all you got and attend all the zooms and introduce yourself to everyone. It might be terrifying to put yourself out there, but I promise you that the relationships you will create will be some of your most treasured. Thus far, I can say that the friendships I’ve gotten to make in college are ones that I know will be lifelong despite distance, pandemics, and time-zones.