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How do you make friends?? - November 22nd 2017, 06:08 PM

I made a post similar to this a while ago but this is still bothering me. The thing I've learned about friendship since college started a few months ago is that I have no idea how it works. I'm trying to figure out who I am and how I fit in here but I have no idea how.

In high school, I saw the same group of people every day and there was really no maintenance required for those friendships. But even those friendships mainly formed through friend's I had since childhood. I'm not actually sure I've ever made a friendship on my own. Mainly constant proximity and then meeting people through the people I've known since childhood anyways.

Now that I'm in college, I obviously can't rely on that. It doesn't even always work. I'm acquaintances with my hallmates, and they're all pretty close with each other, but I just don't feel like I fit in with the group for some reason. I have nothing against them, and would like to be friends with them, I just don't know how. They all naturally became friends with each other and I just wasn't a part of it.

I joined a club too, and everyone's super nice and we have shared interests, but they're all friends with each other already and once again I do not feel like I'm a part of that yet. While it may take time for that to develop, it makes me feel inadequate when everyone else seems to be able to automatically become best friends with the first people they meet. I can do the "Hi, how are you" introductory stuff and maybe even have a nice conversation, but I never feel like we're to the point where I can ask them to hang out.

Sorry about the long post but I need help. What do I do? How do I get past the initial phase?
   
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Re: How do you make friends?? - November 23rd 2017, 01:31 PM

Hi there,

I’m going to include some personal information in my reply because I’ve had recent experience with this.

I also recently started college and struggled a bit with making friends, mainly because I didn’t go to a traditional high school and had been away from people my age for several years. I have made several friends now and have done so by pushing myself out of my comfort zone. It was uncomfortable in the moment but it was worth it.

One of my current friends was sitting by herself one afternoon and I recognized her from my previous class. I agonized for about twenty minutes on whether or not to sit with her and then I finally took the plunge. We got to know each other and we’re good friends now. I’ve done the similar things with a few other friends but it did take some time and that can be hard.

It is awesome that you joined a club and seem to be friendly with the people around you. That’s a great step towards developing more in depth friendships. You said everyone already seems like they’re friends, though; maybe you can talk to them for a while and after some time, ask if they want to hang out together. You can kind of build it up and then ask.

Something else you can try is doing club activities with your friends. I have volunteered to run different tables and help set up different events with my club and that has allowed me to spend time with people from the club. Maybe you can try something like that if your club holds events?

Even if it takes a little more time you can do this! You have the drive and that will take you very far.


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Re: How do you make friends?? - November 25th 2017, 01:55 AM

By showing up to the clubs and getting involved, you likely will build friendships. However, the hard thing is that if you don't talk to people a lot it can take a bit longer for those friendships to build. An example in my life is my book club, I joined at the end of 2014 but only went for two months, I think August and September. I ended up not getting involved with the club again until last year and I went every month. I struggled with talking to them for most of last year and it was a bit of a pain to go to them (even though I had fun once I was there). Now, I am way more talkative and am building friendships but some of the newer people have already build decent friendships with the girls because they talked more and initiated conversation a bit more.

That's the struggle, because being around people a lot and getting to know them is a great way to build friendships but it can be a tad bit easier to build those friendships faster by talking and, essentially, initiating contact outside of the club/class etc.

You mentioned that you are able to say 'Hi, how are you?' but not much else. I am not sure if this is because you are shy or struggle with social settings (I struggle with both) but, unfortunately, people don't always understand quiet/shy people and aren't always certain if they want to be friends which can lead to them being a little more quiet around them.

Anyway, I guess what I am saying is it might help to kind of let them know, in some way, that you are interested in getting to know them. I know this might not be easy. I know some people are a bit more introverted than others which can cause difficulty with some socialization. But, I can say that the more you talk to them the more likely it will be that you will start to get to know them, get comfortable with them and build friendships.

Cassie gave some good examples on what to do. Another thing you can do is try and talk to them about things you might know they like or their classes and majors. One of the best ways to connect with people is to talk about classes you share or major choices.

I know making friend's can be difficult but you can get there. Just keep on hanging in there. You can do this!

Best regards.


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