Finding Connection in College

Picture of shoes of students sitting on a wall making friends

Making friends and connecting with other people is an essential part of the college experience. A good group of peers can positively transform the college experience and provide you with a support base both on and off campus. While making friends is not always easy, there are many opportunities to make friends as a student. Learn how you can find connections in college without the stress.

Making Friends and Connecting in the Classroom

Classroom friendships can contribute to academic success throughout the duration of a course by giving you someone to study and work with. They also give you someone new to spend time with regularly in shared classes, brightening your classroom experiences with a sense of companionship. Whether you’re in classes on campus or online, there are many ways to make friends.

In-Person Classes

A classroom dynamic affords various ways of making friends and connecting with others. Small classes are an ideal place to get to know a small group of people in an academic setting. Making friends in large lecture classes is slightly different from making friends in small settings. It is unlikely that you will be able to get to know everyone personally.

The following are just a few ways to get familiar with the students in your class:

  • Introduce Yourself and Learn Names: To meet new people, try to introduce yourself to someone different each day of class. While not everyone will become your friend, you will feel more comfortable and familiar with the faces in the class.
  • Find a Good Group and Form Study Groups: Another way to get to know other students in your classes is to form study groups. Before a challenging exam, you can schedule a meetup at an eatery or other spot on campus (or a remote meetup by video). This allows you and your classmates to bond outside of class time while still devoting time to your studies.

Online Classes

Connecting with people in online classes may seem like a challenge, but there are ways to make friends virtually.

  • Join Group Chats: In some online classes, students create group chats to connect with each other. These may be over social media platforms or by text. Joining these group chats can help you feel much more connected with other students. If you are comfortable doing so, you can organize meetups with other students that live near you over these platforms.
  • Participate: One helpful way to get to know others in online classes is to participate. If your class has video meetings, answer questions and offer your thoughts. Pay attention to the other students who talk and take note of their names if possible. Post in forums and respond to other students who post their ideas and questions. 

Making Friends and Connecting Through Clubs and Events

Connecting outside the classroom can be just as useful as forming friendships inside the classroom. Academic success in college is important, but that doesn’t mean social time outside of class is not important as well. A strong support system is critical to enhancing your school experience and academic success. It can create motivation and accountability for attending class, completing assignments and working in group settings.

One way to connect and make friends is to join campus clubs or attend events. Clubs allow you to meet people with similar interests while events allow you to have fun with people you may have never thought you would get to know.

Clubs Where You Can Form Connections at Grand Canyon University

There are a variety of clubs at GCU where students can start making friends. The wide range of club offerings presents numerous opportunities for you to meet new people and network with other students. Some of the types of clubs you can find on campus include:

  • Academic and Honor Societies
  • Career and Pre-Professional
  • Community and Volunteer
  • Cultural
  • Ministry
  • Outreach and Governmental
  • Performance, Visual and Fine Arts
  • Social

Some examples of the variety of clubs on campus include the GCU Finance and Economics Club, GCU Skate Club, GCU Catholic Club, Honors VOICES Club and Latino Student Union Club. In total, there are over 70 clubs and organizations found at GCU. Consider following the GCU Clubs page on Instagram to learn about new club opportunities.

Events Where You Can Make Friends at Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University’s yearly calendar is packed with fun events that are meant to connect students. Some of these events happen on a regular basis while some of the events occur annually and give students something to look forward to. Here are a few of the many events to explore at GCU:

  • Welcome Week: Welcome Week is an opportunity for students to get excited about coming to campus. It is the perfect chance to connect with other students who are looking for new friends as well. During this time, GCU’s campus is filled with Welcome Week Pros that are at the ready to help students get settled in. This week is also jam-packed with a variety of fun events that allow for many opportunities to meet new people.
  • Sporting Events: Sporting events are perfect opportunities to connect with other students who share similar interests. Whether you enjoy basketball, soccer, softball or other sports, you are sure to have fun at GCU’s sporting events. Bond with your fellow Lopes by cheering on GCU’s sports teams.
  • Performances: If sports are not your cup of tea, you may consider attending a performance to get to know new people. GCU’s dance and theatre programs both have performances that you can attend at different times during the school year.
  • Life Groups: Life Groups are Bible study groups that are held on a weekly basis. There are many Life Groups in different locations on campus. If you want to grow in your faith and meet people who live near you, life groups can be a great opportunity.
  • Chapel and the Gathering: Chapel and the Gathering are two more weekly events that will help you get involved on campus. The Gathering is a worship focused event. Chapel has a message presented by a different speaker each week. There is also live music performed by GCU students.

There are also many other events to explore that occur on a yearly basis such as Hanging of the Greens, Mr.GCU and TEDxGCU.

Other Connection Opportunities in College

Not all your friends during your college years will be classmates. There are also other ways to develop relationships during your college years, including:

  • Church and Bible Study: Faith-based groups such as churches and Bible studies are great places to find connection and friendships. These places usually bring together people with similar values who care about supporting one another. There are often young adult or college groups available where you can connect with people in a similar stage.
  • The Workplace: If you have a job, you probably interact with people on a regular basis. Getting to know your coworkers is another way to form friendships. Through courteous socialization and checking in with your coworkers, you can find companionship within the workplace.
  • Roommates: If you have roommates, you have friendships built in. Since you live together, you may spend a lot of time together already. Make an effort to get to know them and establish a friendship early on. This will create a better home environment and open communication if there are any conflicts. Making your roommate feel appreciated and spending time together outside the dorm or apartment can go a long way in developing these friendships.
  • Family: Being in college does not mean you should take your family for granted. Family is a valid way to connect with others and feel supported as you go through your education. Calling and talking to family can help remind you of the bigger picture when you get stressed. It can remind you there is someone supporting you.

There are many other places and ways to make good friends. If you look for opportunities, occasions will arise to get to know people and build friendships.

Do not be distressed if you are struggling to make friends or if you feel you are not finding a good group of people. Finding friends takes time. Everything you try is a learning experience or a seed planted, which may be growing faster than you can see.

Grand Canyon University offers many opportunities for student growth and various degree programs. To learn more about what makes GCU and our campus special, click the Request Info button.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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