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Ask Disha

New college, how to make friends, help!

Hey Disha! So, I’m gearing up for college and freaking out a bit about making friends and all. Any tips on how to not be a total awkward potato and actually get people to like hanging out with me? Help a friend out! Ahana, 18, Pune. 



Hey there, and welcome to adulting 101 my friend! Starting college is like beginning a great new adventure. It’s normal to feel a bit nervous about making new friends and finding your way in a new place. But don’t worry, Disha is here to help you out. Let’s go through some simple and fun tips to make your college life enjoyable and easy.

Think of college as a big playground with lots of new things to try. It’s like a fun game where you can learn and make friends at the same time. Before we start, take a deep breath and relax. Ready? Let’s take it step by step and turn those nervous feelings into fun and exciting ones. Let’s get started and have some fun! 

Be open and approachable 

Keep in mind that you’re not alone in feeling unsure about making new friends in college. Every single person you are going to meet and who looks confident – has the same butterflies in the tummy that you have! So worry not mere dost! 

The trick is to be ready to meet new people. Use your best smile, be friendly, and let that be your special skill. People like being around others who are cheerful, and you have plenty of that to share. It’s like having a magnet that draws people to you. Just be yourself and let your positivity shine!

Strike up conversations  

Friendships rarely fall from the sky. Take the initiative. Start with simple hellos, inquire about their subjects, or throw in a compliment. Here are some example chats to get you started:

  • In class: Hi, today’s class was so much fun. We are not worried about homework anymore in college, right? 🙂  
  • At the cafeteria: Hi, what is better in this canteen – samosa or the sandwich, any idea? 
  • In the library: I seriously miss my library period of school. Did you guys have one in your school? 
  • During a college event: Wow, college events are so large-scale, isn’t it – this makes me miss our annual function in school. Which school are you from? 
  • In the college park: I love sitting out in the sun in free periods, we could not do this in school na! 

Most people are just as eager to make friends but might be waiting for someone else to make the first move. Be that someone. Break the ice, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly connections can form.

Join clubs or activities 

Colleges are like treasure troves of clubs and activities. Whether it’s a drama club, a sports team, or a quirky hobby group, find something that aligns with your interests. It’s an excellent way to meet like-minded individuals and bond over shared passions. Plus, it’s an instant ticket to a built-in social circle.

Attend social events 

College isn’t only about textbooks and lectures; it’s a full package of social experience. Participate in orientations, parties, and events. These occasions are designed for mingling and forming connections, and they’re also a lot of fun. Don’t let the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) hold you back—dive into the social scene and go with the flow.

Embrace your uniqueness

Here’s a golden rule—be yourself. Seriously, authenticity is your biggest asset. Embrace your quirks, interests, and passions. You’ll attract friends who appreciate you for who you are, not a watered-down version. The beauty of college lies in its diversity, so celebrate what makes you unique. 

If you have a unique fashion sense, wear it with pride. It can be a conversation starter and attract others who admire your style or share a similar taste. If you’re passionate about certain subjects, don’t be shy to express your thoughts during class discussions. This can attract classmates who respect your insights and might want to explore these topics further with you.

Listen and engage

In the realm of conversations, be an active listener. Show genuine interest in what others have to say. Engage in discussions, ask questions, and let the conversation flow naturally. People love someone who makes them feel heard, and by doing so, you’re paving the way for meaningful connections.

Don’t fear rejection  

It’s important to understand that not every interaction will lead to an instant best-friend-forever situation. And guess what? That’s completely normal. Don’t let the worry of not clicking with someone immediately stop you from reaching out. If you have an awkward conversation or don’t quite hit it off with someone, just shake it off, as our beloved Taylor Swift says! 

These moments are just tiny bumps on the exciting road of college life. Think of them as learning experiences that make you wiser and more confident in social situations. Every chat, whether it leads to a strong friendship or not, is a step forward in your grand college adventure. And in no time  you will sing that song – Yaaro, yeh dosti, badi he hasin hai…

Take your time

Building friendships is a gradual process. Don’t rush it. Focus on forming genuine connections, and you’ll find your squad in due time. Just like I did mine, in college! Quality over quantity is the mantra here, my lord! 

#AskDisha is an advice column run by the editorial team at TeenBook India. The advice given in the columns is science-based but general in nature. Parents and adolescents should seek help from a professional or expert for specific concerns or issues.

Want to learn more about this topic? Here is a cool video you  can check out below:

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