It’s no secret that making friends is infinitely easier as a child than when you are an adult. Despite that, the friends you make in college could well continue to be your friends for the rest of your life. The opportunity to make meaningful and long-lasting bonds during college is something you shouldn’t pass up. That’s easier said than done for many people, especially those who have more introverted personalities. No matter how outgoing you are, there are some easy ways to build friendships in college so that you can carry them with you for a lifetime.

Visit the Right Places

Sure, you might meet some people in your classes that you mesh with, but the chances are that the best friendships you’ll make in college will happen outside the classroom. You’re going to find likeminded people in places that interest you. Try going to campus events, festivals, or dances that are sponsored by the college you attend. You might also consider joining a club, a sorority or fraternity, joining dorm room mixers, or hanging out in common areas where you can interact with other students. Participating in research studies or internships is another great way to meet new people. If you’re struggling to find time for everything, get help from

Be Intentional

While some friendships happen without any effort on either of your part, sometimes building strong friendships means putting in the work. It might not feel natural at first, but you’ll get into the habit of it and will find that you’re making more friends than ever. Spend time actively working on making friends instead of just wishing it would happen. Look for people who share the same interests and who are good listeners, supportive and kind. This may not happen overnight, so don’t get frustrated.

Consider Your Job

If you have a part-time job near campus, you might find that it’s easy to form friendships with coworkers, whether they’re also college students or not. You have a built-in shared experience in the job itself, but you’ll also have the opportunity to spend time interacting with and talking to one another. It might feel forced at first, but with the time you might find, the people you work with becoming friends you can rely on.

Focus on a Couple Friendships

You’ll have a lot of acquaintances in college, but to build real deep friendships means focusing on the few people who are true friends. Of course, you should spend time in groups, meeting new people, and expanding your support network, but it’s also important to set aside one-on-one time with friends to build a strong bond. If you’re working on developing new friendships, the best way to do that is to have a conversation and spend time together without the distraction of other people.

Maintain the Friendship

Like romantic relationships, friendships take work. That means you’ll have to put in the effort to keep the friendship going. Make sure to stay in touch when you can’t spend time together. It might be a daily text to check or a call if you haven’t spoken in several days. As much as possible, try to make time to spend together every week so that you can keep up with each other. College life can get quite busy, and friends may take a back burner to coursework and study sessions, but staying committed is important for preventing those friendships from falling by the wayside.

Be Vulnerable

No one likes being vulnerable, but it’s an important character trait when you’re trying to build a strong relationship. To have a real friendship with someone, you’ve got to be able to let them see who you really are. This might feel risky because you may worry that someone won’t like the real you. Not everyone indeed will, but those who are destined to be your friends through college and beyond will appreciate your openness and will get to know the real you. As you seek out friends, be sure you look for people who are willing to be vulnerable with you, too, so that you’re seeing the real person as well.

Keep Trying

Not every friendship you pursue is going to pan out. Don’t get discouraged because there are plenty of other people out there to meet and become friends with. The chances are that you will be consistently making new friends through the first year of college. As you get settled and create a routine and a new life, you’ll learn enough about yourself that you’ll figure out what’s important to you in a friendship, and you can seek out people that tick the boxes you have.

The friendships you make in college are important now but could be those that last a lifetime. Make sure you’re choosing friends who treat you well and make you want to be the best you can be.

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