So, this is part of a series of blog posts that I do. I've just started attending college (Knox College, a small liberal arts school) and these posts are in part a way for me to talk about what's been going on, and, in part, a resource for people who are planning on going to college next year (or whenever, but it's meant to really help those who are close and worried about certain things). Most of these posts will be specific to Knox College, but not all of them. And the general wisdom of the posts is the same regardless of where you attend.
So friends are super important. Starting over at a new school where you know absolutely no one is terrifying. No matter how social you are, how good at making friends you are, it's scary to be surrounded by hundreds of perfect strangers. But, even for those introverts who hate leaving their room (like me) it's not impossible.
First of all, your roommate can either be one of your best friends, or one of the hardest people to get along with in the world. It's really weird how well they paired me and my roommate. Like, strange, how close they got our personalities. One of the first things we connected over was reading and books- we've both read many of the same things and it created a great way to start conversations.
If you live in a suite like me (as compared to a traditional hall) you'll also get to know the other people living there. Again, you can either get along really well with these people, or not at all. If you have the opportunity, I recommend spending time in a common area, since people will congregate there and conversation will happen naturally. I made the mistake my first night to go to sleep right away and not stay up and talk. Put me behind in friend making. I've worked at socializing, though, and now I'm rather good friends with the other girls in my suite, and it's nice to feel welcomed to their conversations.
Classes are another big one. Make friends in classes, if only for the selfish reason of asking for help with homework or studying help/companions. Oftentimes you won't want to ask your teacher a little question and you'll want to ask the others in your class. It's nice to have that connection. In all my classes I've made friends and it really makes the learning go by easier as well. These relationships all kind of happened naturally- none of us had any other friends in the classes and so we kind of glommed on together.
Clubs. I'm not the best at joining clubs. So I really don't have experience making friends at them. But I know for a fact that it's a great way to connect with other people, so if you're struggling to make friends, this would be a good place to start.
Work. Again, I don't have a job (yet) so I don't really have the experience of making friends at it. But you'll be forced to interact with these people so it's a great place to form connections.
Making hards is scary... but you need it. Otherwise you'll end up being really unhappy. And you're meant to enjoy college! So enjoy it.