How to Find Your People in College: 10 Easy Steps
College is a place to find your people. It’s a time to create life-long friends and even business partners. All you have to do is look inward and connect the dots.
In the following article, we show you how to do just that in 10 easy steps. Let’s begin!
1. Know Thyself
Knowing your strengths, hobbies, and interests will put you into the direct path of people with similar strengths, hobbies, and interests. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll find kinship, but it doesn’t hurt.
A side benefit of this tip for how to find your people is also a pretty important one. Connecting to the things that start your engine will get you closer to picking a major and a career path that you will love. That, and finding friends for life: who could ask for more?
2. Get Your Introvert Under Control
Introverts have their own specific set of talents, but freely socializing with anyone and everything isn’t it. These types of activities can be quite draining to the introvert. That makes it even harder to find your people, whether in college or life.
Some of you extroverted types will be thinking, “I don’t have an introvert.” You’re probably right. For the rest of you, though, you need to subvert this part of your nature a little bit. Just long enough to meet people, really. Then, you can go back to being your glorious hermit self.
3. Be Mindful of Your Classmates
Know who is in your class. Be alert to eye contact, approachability, and things that they may say in class that indicate a kindred spirit. You are sharing a room with these folks for a minimum of 18 weeks. The mere act of seeing each other will help break down any of those barriers that keep you from saying, “Hi, my name is….”
At the same time, it’s important that you pay attention to your approachability as well. Be open to others who exhibit a friendly demeanor and attempt to make eye contact with you. While some might already know how to find their people, they might have selected you as one of those choices without you even knowing it!
4. Look for Meetups and Discussion Groups
Social media and local websites can offer a wealth of information for those struggling to ignite their social lives and build the foundations for a lasting friendship. These types of pages give you the opportunity to search based on interests, see how far someone is from where you are, and arrange a meetup with a simple message.
The next time you find yourself starting to get sucked into a fruitless political discussion or some other waste of time, turn those energies to the search function. See if you can connect with real people for real conversations (face-to-face preferably).
5. Use Your Technology
Generation Z are among the first people to grow up in a post-Internet world. You have never known what it was like to not have access and connectivity. That can be both a blessing and a curse. For the purpose to find your people, it is certainly a blessing.
Messaging apps, dating services, specialty websites and apps geared to niche interests: all these things can help you find your people in a hurry. When you’re in college, you have fewer limitations on using these tools as well. So, bring them into the mix until you have a group that you can call your own.
6. Start a New Conversation With Someone You Don’t Know Every Week
This can be especially hard when you are introverted like some of us. However, you can use your resources, your smile, and a smaller playing field to isolate individuals with whom you might come into contact. Start by just saying hello in a friendly way.
That can often be the only icebreaker that you need. From there, see if there is anything about the person that you can relate to or that you share in common. Use that as a jumping-off point to engage, and then just get a feeling for whether they’re open to conversation. If not, no harm-no foul. If they are, everything will take care of itself from there.
Commit to making yourself do this at least once per week. As a result, you’ll find it easier to navigate social situations.
7. Attend Parties
It’s very important to make friends with people who are not in the same field as you. You can learn a lot from people who are different to you, and who have different perspectives. You can also learn a lot from observing people in different environments and observing how they behave.
College parties are great for people who are in their late teens or early twenties because it’s a time when people are supposed to try new things and make mistakes. It’s also a time when people are supposed to meet new people and learn how to socialise.
8. And Campus Groups or Activities
Check with your college website to see the different campus groups and activities. Become a religious follower of the calendar.
Also, follow your university’s social network of choice. While they may be active on all platforms – and it’s a good idea to follow them on all platforms – pay particularly close attention to how they use those accounts.
Twitter might be great for breaking and developing news, but Facebook could be the preference for events and special announcements.
In this case, you want to be “plugged in” to the Facebook page because it will help you know where to go for group and club activity. It can also make for a great arrow-pointer to specialized groups and pages where you can pick up more information.
9. Get a Part-Time Job
A part-time job in college can teach you a lot of lessons that you can’t learn in the classroom. A part-time job will teach you how to manage your time more effectively, how to work as a team with other people, how to be creative, and how to think on your feet.
Getting a part-time job in college is also a great way to meet new people. If you work in a coffee shop or a restaurant, for example, you’ll be meeting different types every single day and getting more comfortable with opening and engaging in conversations.
One of the drawbacks of having a part-time job as a college student is that it can take time away from your schoolwork. You’ll have to dedicate time to your job and that means less time for your schoolwork, so make sure that you’re accounting for that.
10. Get Involved in Extracurricular Activities and Clubs
One of the best things you can do in college is to be involved in extracurricular activities. It’s a great way to meet new people and make friends with people who are interested in similar things. And it’s a great way to learn new skills.
If you’re not sure what extracurricular activity is for you, try volunteering for something you’re genuinely interested in. If you’re interested in writing, try volunteering at a local newspaper. If you’re interested in film, try volunteering at a local film festival.
If you’re into sports, join a team (varsity or intramural). If you’re into clubs, join a club. Also, there is no rule that says you can’t join more than one activity. In fact, it’s highly recommended.
The best way to find a college extracurricular activity suited to your interests is to visit your college’s career center (or equivalent) and talk to a career advisor about where you can go and what you can do.
These Steps Will Definitely Help You Find Your People on the Path to Graduation
By following the steps we’ve laid out above, you will be able to find your people, and the only effort or talent you will have to put forth is getting started on something that interests you. Good luck! And if you have any tips that can add to this, share what has helped you in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Wikimedia Commons]