Cultivating College Friendships

Cultivating College Friendships

 If your situation is similar to what mine was at the start of college, then the first few weeks of freshman year might feel completely overwhelming. And believe me, I know how intimidating it can be to find new friends. I used to wonder: will it go smoothly when I approach new people; will my bonds with college friends ever be as strong and solidified as my bonds were with high school friends; will Wake Forest ever feel like my “home away from home”?

Flash forward one year, and I can tell you that the answer to all of these questions is a resounding “yes.” I have a routine, extracurriculars and solid friends people with whom I can laugh, trust and be myself. So, as you embark upon your journey at Wake Forest and seek to make new friends, here are a few pieces of tried and true advice. 

First things first: every other freshman also feels uncertain and eager to meet new people. Everyone wants to feel included, accepted and like they belong. It’s in this context that you should take the opportunity to introduce yourself. Others will appreciate it when you make an effort to be friendly, just as you appreciate it when others make an effort to be friendly toward you. You can never go wrong with simply saying hi, and you never know who you may meet. 

Also, as you look to make new friends, don’t let restrictions regarding COVID-19 discourage you. This is a time when we need to be physically distanced, but that does not mean we need to feel socially isolated. There are ways to socially engage with others while staying safe. Invite a hallmate to walk through Reynolda Village, play non-contact sports outside or have a socially distanced picnic on the Quad. Despite new rules created in the era of social distancing, you can still make strong and lasting friendships during your freshman year. 

Story continues below advertisement

In addition, regardless of whether your classes are in-person, blended or fully online, one of the benefits of a small school like Wake Forest is that you will meet and get to know the people in your classes. View this as an opportunity to make friends; if you hear about a common interest you have with a classmate, reach out and follow up. If you hear a classmate asking questions that you know the answers to, contact them and offer a helping hand. If you think you would work well with other people in your class, invite them to join a virtual study group. 

As you make new friends, be sure to keep in touch with old ones too. Throughout my freshman year, I had a weekly FaceTime call set up with my friends from high school. Those chats were always healthy and fun for me. Make an effort to check in with your friends from home. On the flip side, remember that as you evolve during your time at Wake Forest, you will inevitably drift from some high school friends. That’s okay. Your true friends the ones that really matter will last long beyond your first year of college.

Above all else, remind yourself that there is no magic recipe for friendship it forms naturally and over time. You won’t find your close friends overnight, but you will find them. It just takes some time, initiative and a positive attitude. Eventually, your college friends will become some of the most important people in your life; not just during your four years at Wake Forest, but also throughout adulthood.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Old Gold & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *