By Gage Hanson
How To Make Friends In Community College? We’ve all been there. Graduated from high school. In college. And away from all the friends from the last twelve years of school. You have to start over again and make new friends, something you haven’t had to do in a long time. Making friends at a community college is even more difficult because of the small campus, low number of students, and high turnover rate. However, a lot of the strategies used for making friends on a bigger campus can be repurposed so you can make friends in community college.
It All Starts In The Classroom
The easiest place to start friendships is the classroom. You have to show up. 30 or so classmates have to show up. The recipe for making friends is already half done. Now, it is time for you to make an impression.
First off, don’t sulk to the back corner of the classroom on the first day. Don’t isolate yourself just because you don’t know anybody. Nobody in that first class is going to know each other. Sit near the front of the room and close to someone else. Right when you sit down, introduce yourself to the person closest to you. You may never talk to them again, but knowing someone else’s name and them knowing your name will take a lot of pressure off of your search for friends. First introductions are done with. Second and third introductions will be much easier.
Secondly, answer some of the teacher’s questions and join in on discussion groups. You probably have a lot of experience in classes where silence dominates most of the class time. If you become the student who keeps those awkward silences away, your classmates will get to know you. You don’t have to be the know-it-all who answers every question, but speaking up once or twice each class period will make yourself memorable. Making friends and starting introductions is much easier when classmates already know who you are. And they will be thankful you are answering questions so they don’t get called on.
This strategy for making friends is definitely handcuffed in a community college environment, but that just means you have to get a little more creative. Thankfully, the internet makes that even easier.
Every college campus has group activities. Big or small, the school will have a web page listing all these activities and campus groups. Here is an example of my alma mater’s activity page. Searching “[school name] clubs and organizations” will lead you to this page. From there, it is as easy as finding something that interests you, and then showing up to participate. Participate is the key word here.
You may think in a smaller environment like a community college that you will stick out like a sore thumb as a new member and you will, but in a good way. I guarantee that the club will welcome you with open arms. They don’t see many new members. All you have to do is show up and you will be the most popular member of the group for a few weeks. Definitely long enough for you to make some good friends. Group activities bring people together with similar interests. It is an automatic ice breaker.
Another easy way to meet up with people that have similar interests is Meetup. While it doesn’t necessarily limit the group members to students of the community college, it does have a wide variety of groups and activities. If you aren’t clicking with any of your classmates, this is an option to try.
If you want to make friends at a community college, you have to leave your dorm and make appearances at campus events. As a freshman and sophomore in college, I had a fair amount of classes that required me to attend a reading or lecture that was outside of regular class time. It is a safe bet that one of your language or science classes will require the same thing. This is more opportunity for you to spend required time with classmates making friends.
Ask your desk neighbor or some of your classmates which reading they are going to and make plans to attend the same one. Not only does going as a group make the lecture more bearable, but you have another built in similarity with your prospective friends. Nobody likes attending these lectures. Misery loves company and nothing helps you make friends more than shared misery.
Making Friends Starts With You
Ultimately, it is up to you whether or not you make friends. Most of your classmates are going to be in the same boat as you. They are attending a small college while most of their friends are gone. They are just as lonely as you, especially if you are all freshman.
The problem is that all of these classmates will be too scared or nervous to make the first move. That is why you need to be the one to make the first move. There is undoubtedly a huge percentage of people in each of your classes that are scared of the exact same things you are. They will be so relieved that you approached them first. You will automatically be in their good favor.
A lot of the fear you face when making friends is unfounded and holding you back unnecessarily. Making friends at a community college is just like it was at any point of your schooling life. Remember those days when you’d invite the new kid over to your house to play Super Smash Bros. and eat pizza rolls? It is just as easy as it was then. Once you realize and accept that the worst thing that can possibly happen is them saying no and you moving onto the next person, you will be unstoppable. You will also quickly realize that everybody wants to have friends as much as you do.
So go out there and start making friends.
Hope you enjoyed this Guide!