When it comes to making friends in college, you might find yourself thinking it’s strangely difficult. Most people settle into a friend group throughout grade school and high school very easily. You live in the same neighborhood, your parents are friends, you have all of your classes together and people are generally doing the same thing and going to the same places.
In college, it seems like everyone is whizzing around you in pairs, triplets or gangs of people, and you find yourself feeling alone. So how do you make friends in this environment?
Being on a team is a great way to meet people and remain in contact with them. If there’s a person you think you could be friends with, you can work on it slowly because you will see them at every practice. There are also the social aspects, like having sport mixers, pasta dinners, doing community service together and, of course, game days.
The best part about a team is being able to work toward a common goal with people that share the same values as you. Needing to rely on people for success is something that can draw people closer to each other. Being active can relieve stress and create jokes—like last week when my teammate passed gas loudly while we were all doing abdominal workouts. You bet our abs were even sorer the next day from laughing so hard.
For Lauren Sobel, sophomore zoology major, finding a good friend was as easy as doing random room selection. Lauren wanted to make friends when she arrived at Oswego State. Even though she already had one friend here, she chose to get a random roommate in hopes of finding a new friend. Sobel said she felt okay because she knew that everyone in her group was equally lonely and interested in making friends.
It is true that many people are creatures of habit. People often have routines on campus. I met one of my best friends because we worked out in the gym on the same schedule. We saw each other every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11:15 in the changing room at the gym. Eventually, we took our friendship outside of the gym and started spending weekends together. The gym, the library, the café, places to study or even cafeterias are all places where students can find each other having some down time. You never know where you will find someone that could potentially be a great friend.
Being a part of The Oswegonian is wonderful. With every week, I feel more comfortable in the office and friendlier toward my coworkers. When I wasn’t able to work one week, and a friend from the office said things were a bit slow without me, it really made me feel like I was a valued part of the team. Feeling included is a human necessity.
Being involved in a Greek Organization is a different method of making friends. Pledging for a Greek organization can make the worst enemies into friends. The pledging process takes a group of willing college students and puts them through the motions for an extended period of time. It is so time-consuming, taking up most of the day while not in class, and can make a group of people get along and work together.
Mostly, people make friends by choosing the people they think they share interests with, or people that they could imagine having a good relationship with. Since pledges are pledging with a group of people that they most likely are not already great friends with, is it a normal and healthy way to make a true friend? Pledge classes come out as a very tight-knit group of people, but it defies the idea of homophily, which is a communication term meaning that people gravitate naturally toward similar others.
Making friends is difficult but can be achieved in many different ways. It also doesn’t have to be rushed. Walking to class or eating a meal alone is normal. Naturally, people become friendly with one another. But if you find yourself struggling to find a good friend, try something new, and see if you can find someone who values friendship at the same level that you do.
If you are looking for someone to party and drink with on Saturday nights, you can find that person easily. If you are looking for someone to confide in and have a strong connection with it might take longer, but there is a large community at Oswego State, so he or she might just be lifting weights in the gym next to you or studying two seats over.
It’s not about the amount of friends you have, but having a friend with substance that you can really connect with. It might take all semester before you take your strictly gym-buddy friendship to a birthday dinner at the Pressbox or take your library relationship to the mall, but that is normal. And just remember—it takes two to tango.