How to: Make friends for the next four years

Making friends can seem like a daunting task in a new setting and stage of life. It is important to remember what really matters when developing new relationships. [Editor’s note: This piece was written with a satirical slant to explore ways to go about making friends in college].

It is the night before college move-in and, like all big projects of your past, you sit in front of your computer at the last minute searching for answers. You start with a simple Google search, you end up on WikiHow with their proposed methods, and you pore over corny stock images that bring you to question: “Did I really just graduate high school? Am I really still trying to figure out how to make friends?”
You enter into Facebook groups, with identical post after post. Note to self: lack originality. You craft a post: “Hi my name is ____ and I am a *enter astrology sign here*. I like going out, but also like a nice night in. I have a HUGE shopping addiction, love taking photos, going to the beach, staying active, listening to music, and going out to eat. I am super excited to meet everyone! Add me on my socials!” It isn’t all true to yourself, but at least you won’t stand out in a sea of posts identical to yours.
You get nervous about living with your roommate. What if they are crazy? What if they think you are crazy? Are you supposed to get changed in front of them? What if they want to party too much? What if they study too much? What if…?
Okay, so maybe this is not exactly the case for you, but it is guaranteed to be the case for someone out there. It is understandable to have these open-ended questions racing through your head. Stripped from the comforts that come from old friend groups and familiar faces, we enter into the unknown in this next step of life.
But lacking authenticity and originality in who you are as you enter this next step of life, will only lead you to develop relationships that lack authenticity and meaningful connection. It is likely that this next step in life will be a bit out of your comfort zone, but the worst thing you can do is to make yourself uncomfortable in your own skin.
You might not make all of your friends in the first semester of freshman year, and that is okay. But in making meaningful connections, it is important to put yourself in positions where you are open to meeting new people. Choose to put yourself in positions where you are doing things that you love – not only will you be happier (and likely friendlier with that happiness), but you will meet new people who love doing the same things as you do. Most everyone you meet will be in the position of wanting to make friends (and maybe being a little nervous).
Investing in meaningful relationships is particularly important, as these relationships will be an integral part of your support system. When you move away to college, no matter if you are going near or far, you will likely leave parts of your immediate support system. It is important to continue to grow and develop a support system, because the journey through life is not always easy. We all need help sometimes.
Click out of WikiHow, turn your computer off, go to bed, and know that you will be great.