For many students, college is an unforgettable time when they form lasting friendships and bonds. Some college friends go on to found businesses together or live together after college is over. One of the best parts of college life is living in a community of your peers where all your friends are just a stone’s throw away. But if you’re a student who lives off-campus, it can be hard to find your place among the other students and feel like you’re really a part of campus life.
Off campus students don’t have to feel left out. With a little effort, you can ensure you have plenty of college friends by the end of the semester.
Here are some ways off-campus students can find on-campus friends:
Join a Sport
Sports are a great way to make friends and meet new people. Collegiate sports teams usually practice every day and some sports have fall and spring seasons. Team members often form tight bonds and tend to socialize together and even study together outside of practice hours. You’ll also meet students from other schools at weekend competitions, games and meets. You’ll not only feel a part campus life, but you’ll also be working to represent your school in intercollegiate competitions. If you want to feel included, this is a great way to go.
Join a Club
Most universities have a variety of clubs and activities for students to enjoy. Choirs, bands, university newspapers, literary magazines, debate clubs, environmental clubs, chess clubs, ethnic clubs, political clubs and others. If your school doesn’t have a club you’re interested in, why don’t you try to start one yourself? Wouldn’t it be nice to meet other students with similar interests?
Go to Study Groups
You’ll be able to kill two birds with one stone with this one- acing your classes and making friends with your classmates. You’re likely to meet some interesting people in the study group that could turn into friendships. Just make sure you’re not interrupting the study aspect of the group in your attempt to make new acquaintances. Wait until after the group is over to ask someone if they want to have some coffee or lunch.
Attend Sporting Events
If you’re not athletically inclined, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still attend sporting events. Going to football games, basketball games, soccer games and other events will put you in contact with fellow students and up your chances of meeting some people you get along with.
Attend Dances and Parties
Most universities also host social events like dances, festivals and parties. That’s because it’s also important for students to socialize and enjoy themselves as it is for them to study. There are several places you can look to find out about upcoming activities:
- Fliers and signs around campus
- The college website
- The college newspaper
- Word of mouth
Say Yes to Invitations
Sometimes, the problem could be that you’re not taking enough advantage of the courtesies extended to you. Do you tend to decline invitations and tell people you’re too busy to go to parties, check out a movie or go see an exhibit for extra credit together? Start saying yes. Friendships take effort, so if you’re not filling the minimum requirement which is to make yourself available, then you’re already off to a bad start.
Don’t Be Discouraged
It can be difficult to make friends sometimes, but don’t give up. Don’t take rejection personally either. Closing yourself off isn’t going to help the situation one bit. Keep showing up to events and activities and eventually you’ll find your people. It might take some time, but it will be worth it when it happens.
College life is made better with close friendships. Just because you don’t live on campus doesn’t mean you have to give up this part of the experience. Use these tips to meet new people and enjoy your college social life more.