How To Make New Friends In College Fast!

College is a wonderful and new experience! It’s a new location with new people and a schedule that you create! For many, it is also the first time moving to a new home in a dorm or apartment and being surrounded by thousands of strangers. I want to give you some tips to make friends fast and easily so that you have a circle of support going forward!

With everything being so new, you may not know many of the people at your university. Making friends early on will help you to acclimatize faster and be more successful throughout your college experience.

If making new friends in a new place is intimidating, you are not alone! Plenty of other students will feel this way and you may have the opportunity to be their first friend away from home. Here are some tips to make new friends in college quickly so that you have a group to share fun experiences with and overcome the new challenges ahead!

Don’t Be a Hermit, Go Out and Say Hello!

I have been with plenty of people who say they just aren’t good at meeting other people. They say that they are socially anxious, which I understand. But, they also complain that they don’t have enough good friends or that they wish they had a boyfriend or girlfriend.

The fact of the matter is that you can’t hope to have more friends or amazing relationships without going out to meet people!

As amazing as it would be, a beautiful woman or handsome man isn’t just going to suddenly knock on your door (maybe it will for you, who knows). A group of people sharing your interests aren’t going to all of a sudden knock on your door asking you to hang out!

You have to go experience different places and put yourself where other students are! For me, I met the majority of my early college friends in the dining halls. I was starving from the ROTC workouts and would go to eat multiple times a day (7-8 times at one point…it was a lot of running and the cookies were amazing).

As scary as it was, I would walk up to people getting food and ask if they wanted to sit with me. I tried to meet as many people as possible and soon enough I had an amazing group of friends.

Go out to public areas and just say hello. The worst that can happen isn’t that bad, I promise. Don’t get me wrong, it can be intimidating at first, but everyone wants a friend, so more often than not it will work out for you.

Find Common Ground and Become Aquaintences First

Some of my great friends came from forced groups in class, questions about homework, or even asking people to spot at the gym.

Oftentimes you will find a common need or situation that will force you to meet someone.

This is an awesome opportunity! Get to know them a little as you help each other with the problem. If it is a group project, spend a little extra time and effort to ask about their day or where they are from.

If you are at the gym, offer to spot someone who is lifting a lot of weight. You could also ask for some fitness advice. Even though I had researched health and fitness for years and was pursuing a degree in physiology, I would pretend that I didn’t know something and ask. Sometimes I got advice that changed my entire workout routine and surprised me! Other times I gained a workout buddy or friend.

Compliments can go a long way too. If you feel that you genuinely admire something about someone, you should let them know. It could change their life! Kindness and courtesy go a long way no matter what!

You never know, you may meet your future best friend or spouse (or boss, which is a great reason to be nice to everyone you meet).

Join a Club, Team, or Organization!

One of the simplest and quickest ways to make new friends in college is to join something. Joining an organization automatically puts you in a group of like-minded people.

It doesn’t matter what you are into, there is most likely a club or organization for it! If not, make one! This is amazing advice from my great friend Shirun who wrote the post on student involvement. Check it out!

Intramural sports bring fun and competition together which can breed great friendships fast. It feels great to work toward a common goal with people and to have some laughs along the way! I guarantee if you play an intramural such as flag football or soccer, you will make amazing friendships in college.

Another great way to make friends fast is to join a sorority or fraternity! I personally joined a fraternity during my sophomore fall. I give more insight into this in my book, How To Conquer College, but basically you will instantly become part of a pledge class consisting of anywhere from 10 to 200 individuals. You all will quickly become acquainted and many of them will be lifelong friends.

People may joke that Greek life is just a way to pay for friends, and they aren’t entirely wrong. However, those friendships become very real and can last a lifetime. Additionally, the older brothers or sisters that you meet have a few years of extra experience, notes, and connections that you can greatly benefit from.

No matter what organization you join, you will make amazing friendships and a great amount of connections. Life can take you anywhere, and you may run into one of these connections down the road. It always helps to know someone!

Help Someone In Need!

This is something that people don’t think about. A great way to make friends in college or anywhere in life is simply to help someone out.

As humans, it is natural for us to feel amazing for helping someone or for being helped. Support is at the core of what makes us feel secure and happy!

If you see someone struggling to move furniture in, offer to give them a hand! Or maybe it’s raining and you could give that person you saw in your class a quick ride since you are both going to the same place.

It feels good to help others and it quickly builds a level of trust that is a great foundation for a solid friendship.

We all have those days when things don’t seem to go right for us. If you see someone having one of those days, you could be the shining light that turns it around for them!

One last example before the next session… If someone drops a bunch of papers or books, you can go over and help pick them up! I’ve seen this happen numerous times and it can be so humiliating or depressing for that person. The crazy thing is that I rarely have seen anyone stop to help before I walk over and lend a hand.

You could make the difference in someone’s life and make a friend in the process!

Never Forget to Be Yourself!

Now that you are in college, you are officially a grown adult. You no longer need to try to impress anyone or try to be someone you aren’t.

It’s time to carve out who you want to be. Will Smith said, “Just decide. Decide what you’re going to do, who you’re going to be and how to do it. It’s really that simple”.

One final tip before I sign off; Get good at learning the names of others!

It feels so good when someone addresses you by name, and it can feel awful when you can’t remember a name! The better you are at remembering the names of others, the more friends you will have and the more of an impact you can make on the world around you!

There you have it! I wish you the best of luck in finding and creating amazing friendships that last long after college! If this post helped you, please leave a comment down below. I would love to meet you and become your friend as well, so let me know who you are and maybe how you found my site!

Conquer College and Dominate Life!

-Hudson, LikeTheRiver






  • Netta

    Hey Hudson:

    I enjoyed this post. Your tips and thoughts are right on, gentle, unaggressive and easy-going….the best way, I am thinking, for attracting new friends.

    It’s always intimidating when you’re new to a situation, but when everybody else is also experiencing the same thing for the first time, it’s a grand opportunity to develop relationships and to find a new tribe for yourself.

    I especially like your thought about being helpful to others. Paying attention to other people and lending a needed hand is a great self-introduction.

    • Hudson

      Thank you Netta, I am glad you feel the same way! I love helping others and I have been surprised at the amazing friendships I have gained by simply being there when people need a hand!

  • Shirun

    Side note: Everyone should read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”…it’s a great guide to everything this article discusses! Good work Hudson

    • Hudson

      I wholeheartedly agree! That book definitely made it into my list of books that every college student should read! It changed my life as I’m sure it did yours!

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