5 ways to make friends on campus this fall

Sunday, August 15, 2021 5 ways to make friends on campus this fall

Students participate in campus events with friends.

Building your social circle is one of the most essential steps to finding your home on campus and improving your overall well-being. Follow these five steps to meet people with similar interests, create a close-knit support system and grow your network for a memorable college experience.

1. Make an effort to put yourself out there.
The best of friends often arise from seemingly random circumstances. Take advantage of small moments during the day to start a conversation and form a new friendship – invite someone from your floor, class or house to grab a meal, or ask to share a table at an outdoor area on campus. The Nebraska Union Plaza, Adele Learning Commons, or Willa Cather Dining Center patio are a few options. You can always initiate conversation with people you meet by attending campus events such as Big Red Welcome, Dish It Up and Coffee Talks. These events initiate conversations, making it easy to get to know others.

2. Find others with similar interests.
No matter your interests, there's a Recognized Student Organization (RSO) for you to join. Being involved in a club is one of the best ways to bond with others through shared interests while filling your social calendar. Your best bet is to attend the Street Festival on August 22, and the RSO Club Fairs on August 25 and 26. Here you can meet representatives from many different student groups to find your best fit. You also can browse NvolveU to search more than 500 student organizations and find their contact information. Intramural sports is another great option if you played a sport in high school or want to pick up a new skill – almost every sport is available, so there's sure to be a team for you.

3. Get a campus job.
Getting a job may not sound like a social opportunity, yet it can be one of the fastest ways to form friendships on campus. Having a campus job means you'll see coworkers every day who will likely have a mutual interest. It's also a fantastic opportunity to grow your network in a certain college or department, widening your social and support circle. Many campus jobs offer flexible hours and know how to work around a class schedule, ensuring that you can keep up with your studies while becoming more connected to campus. Use the Handshake website to create your employment profile and search through all available campus jobs and volunteer opportunities.

4. Strike up a friendship with your classmates.
With something as simple as saying "hi" to the person next to you in class, you can form a lasting relationship that will benefit you both. Seeing people every day is one of the easiest ways to bond. You'll find that having others in your same course or even major offers opportunities for study groups, academic support and potentially shared interests.

5. Get involved in the community.
If you're feeling lost on campus, becoming active in the community is a great way to find your place. You can find volunteer opportunities on Handshake for all types of industries. Some popular on-campus volunteering positions include Residence Hall Association governance, ASUN Student Government, UPC Nebraska and volunteering through fraternities and sororities. You also can seek out a local non-profit like a food pantry, animal shelter or fundraising organization. Any one of these will help you make a significant impact in the Lincoln community while meeting others who are passionate about a cause.

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