I feel like I have very few friends at school. There are people who I talk to and have conversations with, but no one who I hang out with in my spare time. I’m not too good at making friends and I get uncomfortable and awkward trying to do so. How do I branch out and meet new people?
A lonely hermiy
Dear a lonely hermit,
You might be surprised to know that you aren’t the only one who feels this way. Many people struggle with building and maintaining meaningful friendships. There are challenges involved when making friends, but there are always people out there who would love to get to know you better.
There are lots of different ways you can meet people. Start talking to the people in your classes. Find out what you have in common. You can get to know the people living around you better by going out of your way to talk to your roommates or suitemates.
Get involved on campus. Joining a club or organization is a great way to make friends. Find something you enjoy, and you’ll meet other people who share your passion. This will help you spend time with new people and you won’t be alone every evening.
Take initiative and make the plans. Suggest a few activities. You can play video games, go to the Greenway or go out to eat. People enjoy having plans, and if you are the one to take initiative, it is likely that they will go along with it.
If you have a fear of awkward conversations, start by focusing on the person you want to be friends with. Ask them about the most interesting thing they’ve done recently. You’ll discover that there are some cool people on campus, and you can learn a lot about someone that way, too.
Most importantly, be yourself. Don’t try to change who you are to fit in. There will always be people out there who will like you for your personality. Be confident, be brave and good luck!