As an incoming freshman, I know it’s difficult to get adjusted to college life. It’s all too easy to just stay holed up in your dorm room those first couple of weeks and not want to talk to anyone. But here’s the thing – everyone’s in the same boat as you. So you’ve got to take yourself out of your comfort zone maybe a little and break the ice! Here are a few tips and ideas to help you meet new people and have more fun your freshman year!
1. Open your door – Most dorms have an open door policy, which is just fancy talk for “everyone keeps their doors open while they’re in their dorms to mingle.” It’s a great way to meet people, as often they’ll pop in your room and say hello, or introduce themselves. On the other end of that, make sure you do the same thing! Go around your floor, or your entire hall if you’re feeling ambitious, and just meet people. You might feel awkward at first, but chances are, everything will go smoothly, and you’ll end up meeting someone you really click with.
2. Introduce yourself – This one goes along with the first tip. You’ve got to just introduce yourself to people! If you see a group (or a couple people, it’s less intimidating) in the cafeteria, or hanging out in your dorm’s rec room, go up and introduce yourself. It might seem weird and awkward, but nearly everyone there is in the same boat; they don’t know anyone either. You never know who you might meet if you just take the initiative.
3. Make friends with your RA – This might sound odd; the RA is usually a much older student who really doesn’t have time for freshman. In most cases, hopefully, this is not true. Your RA’s job is to make sure everyone on the floor is cohabiting peacefully. Think about it: he or she is the person you go to with any problems, concerns, roommate issues, or when you just want to talk. So it can’t be anything but helpful to you in the long run to get in their good graces.
4. Branch out – If you end up going to the same college as your friends, or even acquaintances you knew from high school, it’s easy to just fall into old habits and spend all your time with them, because it’s safe or comfortable. But you have to branch out, meet other people, and make new friends! I’m not saying to ditch your old buddies, but if you constantly hang around them and never find other people, eventually they will get new friends, and you’ll be left in the cold.
5. Eat well – Yeah, yeah, I know, how boring is this? But it’s a serious matter. With no parental guidance, and a veritable smorgasbord of good (and often free) food everywhere, it’s easy to start eating every junk food and deep fried thing you lay your eyes on. But if you make sure to eat balanced meals, and keep a somewhat healthy diet, you’ll feel much better, you won’t be as tired or crabby, and you won’t have to worry about the freshman 15!