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A Guide to Finding Friends on Campus

In my experience, college students find their friends in one of a handful of places. This blog post is a simple guide to finding friends in a way that also expands your extracurriculars and horizons.

1. Dorm groups/roommates

The first place you'll probably find friends is right at home. If you have roommates, you may very easily form bonds and connections with the people you live with. If you don't get along well with your immediate roommates, dorm mates or members of your freshman orientation group are another place to find instant friends. Colleges create groups like these to help facilitate social bonding among new students. It's especially easy to connect with people in your dorm when they live close to you, and you end up seeing them on a regular basis and maybe even watching movies or going out for ice cream with them.

2. Competitive sports teams

If you become a member of a competitive sports team, camaraderie also comes easily. You and your teammates share something major in common: heavy talent for a particular activity. Everyone on a team suffers together at early morning conditioning sessions and late night team practices, and you get to know everyone well as a result of being forced to be together for extended periods of time during the day. As a result of your strict training schedule, you and your teammates will probably end up eating together and spending your weekends together at tournaments.

3. Dance/acapella/music/performance groups

While performing arts groups enforce a slightly less strict attendance policy than sports teams, they still require a minimum participation level to remain in the group. Everyone in the group is voluntarily drawn to the collective to bond over a shared interest: singing, dancing, piano, etc. College groups usually have unique traditions as well, ranging from initiations to required tasks for newcomers, that hopefully draw members closer together.

4. Other members of your department/major

If you are dedicated to your studies and put a lot of effort into your major, you're likely to become friends with other people in your department, especially those who take the same classes as you. Finding friends in your department also provides reliable study partners who can help you excel at the subjects you're learning.

5. Religious/cultural fellowships

People drawn together by a common faith or culture are very likely to connect. Religious fellowships may host sermons or temple sessions, while cultural fellowships might host a Taiwanese food night or Indian dance festival on campus.

6. Social clubs or sororities/fraternities

Perhaps the most obvious source of friends, social clubs/sororities/fraternities are the most common places on campus where students actively join for the purpose of finding new friends or "fitting in." These clubs tend to be more aggressive, exclusive, and intense with hazing and upholding traditions, so make sure to keep this in mind if you are pursuing one of these organizations.

7. Academic clubs

Much like performing arts groups, academic clubs are formed over a mutual interest in specific studies. One might join a pre-medical group to find friends who also want to be doctors or STEM researchers, or a humanities group to find friends who enjoy intellectual discussions about literature and philosophy. Not only do these groups provide excellent social opportunities, but they also grant students opportunities to build their resumes in the direction of their desired field.



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