By Jessica Salerno
As an incoming college freshman, it’s normal to have a million questions. Where are my classes? How do I replace my lost ID? What do I say to that cute upperclassman? But the question weighing heaviest on your mind might be: How will I make friends?
Experienced college students from the Her Campus team are here to tell you how they met their best friends freshman year, so pay attention. Class is in session early, ladies, so grab a pencil and get ready to take notes!
There are few things more awkward than freshman orientation. Chances are, everyone is feeling as awkward as you, so don’t be afraid to make light of the situation and joke around with new people.
"That first week of school is full of awkward ‘socials’ meant to help freshmen meet other students in their dorm. Like any other curious freshman I was going for the free food, then trying to make a quick exit to avoid more awkward ‘what's your major... where are you from...’ questioning. As I [was] walking through the quad one of the RA's who helped me move in called me over to talk with him and a group of girls he was with. I [was] introduced to everyone in the circle, including one girl with curious style. Turns out we were the perfect match.” - Alaine Perconti, Contributing Writer, Miami University (Ohio) ’13
“One of my best friends was my freshman year roommate, and we had never met before Orientation. During Orientation my school puts on a square dance ice cream social, and my new roommate and I awkwardly stumbled through the hilariously uncomfortable square dance together. After that bonding experience we were pretty much set to get through anything together!” - Madi Tsuji, Campus Correspondent, Occidental College ‘14
In the Dorm
This might be the most obvious of all places to meet people. You live in a building chock full of interesting, new people who you’ll see every day, so take advantage!
“All of the first friends I made were people from my dorm floor. The memories and bonds you make when you're living in a small space with people, bored and needing entertainment are irreplaceable. You watch awful movies together in the lobby, you go mattress surfing on the stairs (not recommended because someone WILL get hurt), you play the guitar in the elevators... all that craziness comes together in a real bond. I think I'll be close with my dorm friends for the rest of my life.” - Meghan Frick, Contributing Writer, Appalachian State University ’12
“Back in freshman year I met my best friends because they lived right across the hall! Now we all live together and feel so lucky that we were placed where we were freshman year — talk about luck.” - Madeline Buxton, Contributing Writer, Yale University ’13
“When I first met my best friend Ellie, I never thought we would be able to get along. We were freshman roommates in a built-up triple in one of the worst dorm halls on campus. She was an engineering major and I was an English literature major. But we were bunk buddies and eventually we became the best of friends. We were known to everyone on the floor as ‘Ellie and Allie.’ We still catch meals at the dining hall together and as much as we annoyed each other sometimes as roommates, we've stayed close through college.” - Alexandra Churchill, Contributing Writer, University of New Hampshire ’12
Struggling through History 101 doesn’t have to be torture. Introduce yourself to the people around you and ask to study together or trade notes when someone misses class.
“I sat next to people in class I didn't know and started conversation, exchanged numbers for homework and would later text them asking if they wanted to go out to a party. It worked well for me, and still does. You just have to initiate. People love making new friends, but half the time they aren't confident enough to speak to a stranger or they are just comfortable with where they are at, you have to be the one to change it. What's the worst that can happen, they say ‘no sorry, not tonight.’ It's ok, really. And it's fun!” - Nicole Lumbreras, Campus Correspondent, University of Iowa ‘12
One of the easiest ways to meet people? Clubs! Look for something you’re passionate about, and if you can’t find anything right away then join whatever club sounds most interesting (or your school’s Her Campus branch!). You’re encouraged to try everything out, so don’t be shy!