How To Make Friends in College

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Learning how to make friends in college and connect 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, if you make the effort, you’ll likely find that there are many opportunities to make friends as a student. Below, you can learn how to meet people in college as an introvert and with little stress.

In This Article:

Be Open to Meeting New People

It is a common fear you may find no friends in college, but don’t worry! Keep an open mindset about meeting new people and be friendly to the people around you. Coming into college can be intimidating at times, but keeping an open mind and a good attitude can bring favorable results.

If you are wondering how to make friends in college as an introvert, do not be afraid to put yourself out there and introduce yourself to people. Attend as many events as possible and get involved on campus in activities that interest you. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, and you’re likely to find yourself meeting new people and making new friends.

Look for Potential Friends in the Classroom

Classroom friendships can contribute to academic achievements throughout the duration of a course by giving you someone to study and work with. They may 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 on campus or online, your classes are a great place to begin learning how to make friends in college.

In-Person Classes

A classroom dynamic can afford various ways of making friends and connecting with others. Small classes can be 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, as it’s 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.
  • 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 areas on campus (or a remote meetup by video). This may allow 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 potentially help you feel more connected with other students.
  • Participate in class: 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.
  • Organize meet-ups in person: Although it’s common for online students to be widely geographically distributed, some students may live near the campus. If you feel comfortable doing so and if you live near campus, consider arranging an on-campus meet-up with others in your class or field of study.
  • Join or form virtual social clubs: Look for virtual social clubs to join or form one yourself and invite your classmates. A virtual social club could have almost anything as a central point of focus, such as an academic interest or hobby.

Tips for Making Friends Around Campus

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 GCU

There are a variety of clubs at Grand Canyon University where you can start making friends. The wide range of club offerings can present numerous opportunities for you to meet new people and network with other students.

Some examples of the variety of clubs on campus include:

  • Coffee Club
  • GCU Finance and Economics Club
  • GCU Young Life
  • Digital Film Production Club
  • Latino Student Union Club

GCU has over 100 student clubs and organizations during the 2023-24 school year. Consider reviewing the GCU Clubs website to learn about new club opportunities. 

Events Where You Can Make Friends at GCU

GCU’s yearly calendar is packed with fun events that are meant to connect students and facilitate the process of how to make friends in college. Some of these events happen on a regular, ongoing basis, while some occur annually, giving students something to look forward to.

If you are worried about how to meet people in college, consider attending a few of the many events GCU offers:

  • 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 new students who are looking for new friends as well. During this time, GCU’s campus is filled with Welcome Week pros that are 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 great opportunities to connect with other students who share similar interests. Whether you enjoy basketball, soccer, softball or other sports, you are likely 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 throughout 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, these groups can be a great place to start.
  • Chapel and the Gathering: Chapel and the Gathering are two weekly events that can 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 the Hanging of the Greens, Mr. GCU and TEDxGCU.

Other Connection Opportunities in College

Not all your friends during your college years will be classmates or club members. There are other opportunities to develop relationships during your college years, including:

How To Make Friends at College Dorms

A simple way of making friends and meeting new people is to introduce yourself to the people who live in your building and in your hall. Say hello and introduce yourself to other people passing in the hallway; they may end up becoming your new best friend. If you are nervous about how to make friends in college as an introvert, simply start by getting to know your roommates better.

Meeting New People Through Sports

In addition to attending sporting events on campus, you might consider participating. If you are someone who enjoys playing sports, then this is another great way to make friends who share similar interests. Join intramural sports and meet people who like to play the same sports that you do.

Some of the intramural sports available during the fall at GCU are: 

  • Flag football
  • Indoor volleyball
  • Spikeball
  • 3-on-3 basketball
  • Ultimate frisbee

Some of the spring intramural sports offered at GCU are:

  • Indoor basketball
  • 16-inch softball
  • Soccer
  • Sand volleyball

Intramurals are a great way to have fun and meet new people who enjoy the same things you do.

Make Friends at Your College Job

Another way to meet new people and make friends is by getting a job on campus. If you have a job, you probably interact with people on a regular basis, and 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. Becoming friends with coworkers often makes work more enjoyable, and you can get together outside of work. There are multiple student worker jobs to choose from. 

Church and Bible Study

In addition to the opportunities at GCU, faith-based groups, such as churches and Bible studies, are great places to find connections 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.

Make an Effort to Become Friends With Roommates

If you have roommates, you likely have plenty of opportunities to forge new friendships. 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 can create a better home environment and open communication to reduce the potential for conflicts. Making your roommate feel appreciated and spending time together outside the dorm or apartment can go a long way in developing these friendships.

Remember to Connect With Family

Don’t forget to stay connected with your family while you’re working on making new friends in college. Family is a valid way to connect with others and feel supported as you go on your education journey. 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.

These are just a few good ways to meet people in college. Try not to worry if it takes a while to make friends or if the first group you find is not the right fit for you. Finding true friends can take time, and everything you try is a learning experience or a seed planted.

Choose GCU for Your College Experience

If you are worried about how to make friends in college, consider GCU. GCU offers many opportunities for meeting new people and individual growth, along with our many degree programs. To learn more about what makes GCU and our campus life special, fill out the form on this page. 

Approved by the assistant vice president of GCU Marketing on Feb. 15, 2024.

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.