Making Friends In College: Common Mistakes

Taking hard classes, having to wear flip flops in the shower, making friends…it’s all pretty rough. Here are some common mistakes to avoid making when it comes to the latter:

  1. Not introducing yourself to your floor mates

The people living on your floor are most probably the first people you will meet and really get to know in college. Some floors might be more quiet than others, but they all host weekly opportunities (i.e. movie nights, trips to restaurants, etc.) for you to get to know the rest of your residence hall, especially during the first few weeks of the semester. Even if you can’t attend every event, consider knocking on your neighbors’ doors and introducing yourself. You’ll be thankful you took the initiative when you actually know peoples’ names and it’s no longer awkward when you run into them in the bathroom while brushing your teeth.

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  1. Clinging to your high school friends

Moving to a large University can be a bit of a shock, and it’s natural to gravitate towards the people you know out of comfort. However, be careful that you’re not limiting yourself from meeting new people! Embrace the change. One of the best parts of going to Illinois, in my opinion, is the amount of diversity on campus. It would be a shame to miss out on making a new friend or two because you were so intent on reliving your high school glory days.

  1. Not joining RSOs

Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) are the perfect way to meet likeminded people. I really wished I had joined more during my first semester—I’d highly recommend going to Quad Day and signing up for as many clubs that interest you. If you are super passionate about something, (like singing, debate, chemistry…how about origami?) there’s an RSO at Illinois just for you.

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  1. Expecting to find your best friends during your first year

If you’ve avoided making all of these mistakes and you still haven’t found the Ann Perkins to your Leslie Knope, do not fret. Making friends in college can be a slow process. I met so many great people during my freshman year, but it took me a very long time to actually feel close to them. If I could go back and tell my freshman self one thing, it would be: “You are not the only college student who feels lonely sometimes.”  Keep your head up, and you’ll find your people eventually.

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