How to Make New Friends Before Your First Week of College

by John Montesi

For students heading off to college for the first time, there is a lot to be excited about: a newfound sense of freedom, more interesting and varied classes, and the opportunity to make new friends. The college experience is all about learning new things, trying new things, and participating in activities and clubs that cater to your different interests.

Still, the prospect of going from the security of an established routine and group of close friends at home to a place where you may not know anyone at all can be daunting. Here are a few ways to make new friends long before the first class of the semester starts.

Get Social

Just about everyone uses social media in one way or another—and one of its most useful applications is to connect with future classmates. You can meet fellow students through official groups on Facebook or even informal name searches on Instagram or other platforms.

While it might feel odd to make a connection before meeting face-to-face, there’s nothing wrong with introducing yourself and doing a little bit of research to find people who are interested in the same things as you. Joining groups on social media can be a great way to connect over common interests and shared hometowns months before you arrive on campus.

Official Campus Programs

Many colleges offer mandatory or highly recommended orientation programs. Some start on campus just a couple days before classes, while others are offered in different regions all summer long.

No one loves awkward icebreaker games, but the truth is, everyone can benefit from new student programs. Whether you’re there to get the first chance at signing up for a preferred class or are looking to make connections with fellow students so you see some familiar faces on day one, don’t skip these school-sanctioned events. Unlike high school, college events treat you like an adult—and there is absolutely nothing boring about them.

Get Involved, Get Excited, Be Yourself

Every school is different, but all of them offer ways for you to get involved before your freshman year starts. One of the best things about college is that nobody knows whether you did 100 extracurricular activities in high school or wouldn’t be caught dead in any kind of club. Not to mention, many of the things that might not have been considered “cool” at your high school can be experienced through student-run clubs on college campuses across the country. Don’t be afraid to follow your passions!

Between a bit of social media research and just being yourself, you’re bound to build friendships that last long after you get your diploma. This is one of the most exciting times of your life—get ready to face it head-on.