First year college student gives advice on making new friends

September is here and most college students have settled into their dorms. With the stress of the move melting away, for some, a new feeling of uncertainty sets in. 

Who do I talk to? How do I make new friends?

For some students, this fall will be the first time they are learning in person since March of 2020. First year students who typically struggle to adjust are now faced with an added challenge. With a pandemic, change, and the return of deadlines for students, it is easy to slip into a feeling of isolation. With the right mindset though, you’ll learn that support and friendship wait all around you.

After a week in my dorm, here’s what has helped me make friends.

Say ‘hi’ in the halls

Meeting people in the halls or shared bathroom of your building is a great place to start. You already have something in common. 

Try asking people which room they are in or where they are from. 

Leaving your door open is also a great way to invite conversation. I have seen some students leave a sign on their door asking people to stop in and grab a piece of candy, while others watch a movie with the door open, allowing others to come join them.

Attend school-run activities 

To help, many schools host a series of orientation or “welcome back” activities and events for students. While they may seem silly — Trinity College had a bounce house and roller skating last week — they are a great opportunity to meet people and have fun.

Sit with friends of friends
during meals

Try to join a group of students you may not know as well, or ask one of your friends to introduce you to someone they may have met in class. Reaching outside your own class, dorm building, or orientation group helps you meet new people.

Introduce yourself to your
classmates and professors

Before classes start, introduce yourself to your professors. They can be a great resource for meeting new people by suggesting a club that may interest you or another activity. One of my classmates is going kayaking with his seminar class.

If you don’t feel comfortable approaching your professors, try emailing them. This establishes a line of communication that is beneficial in many ways. 

Challenge yourself to sit with students you may not know, then introduce yourself

From there, you can plan to eat meals together before or after your class, or even form a study group. 

Sammi Bray is a first year student at Trinity College in Hartford. She is studying public policy and law, with a minor in rhetoric, writing and media studies. She has been freelancing for the Record-Journal since June. You can contact her at

With local school, politics and coronavirus news being more important now than ever, please help our newsroom deliver the coverage you deserve. Please support Local news.

More From This Section