Saturday, April 9, 2016

Crash Course: Making Friends In College


I am the furthest thing from being an expert on making friends. Then again, I am the furthest thing from an expert on almost everything besides myself and maybe Harry Styles. Even then, I struggle. However, that minor detail hasn't stopped me from giving unsolicited advice before, so I figured I'd throw my hat into the friendship making ring. Perhaps my advice won't land you your #BFF, but not everyone can be your best friend. I mean, isn't that the point of have one or two or three best friends? To set them apart from the rest of your friend group?

I've never been a person who has had a mass amount of friends. I used to be really shy and awkward and not all that great at being friendly. Then at some point, I adopted the personality where I wanted to be nice to everyone and I've tried to keep that mindset ever since. I'm not saying you have to treat everyone with the utmost amount of kindness, especially if this person wasn't the greatest to you or your friend or whatever. But a general rule of thumb for me is to be polite and try to engage in conversation with someone. I always tried to help people when I could just because that is something that made me feel good. But that's neither here nor there and is totally not what this post is about (mostly). This post is about how to make friends in college or high school or at your job. Hopefully they're universal tips, even if the examples are specific to one place.


1. Don't be afraid of small talk

Ah, the dreaded small talk. Whether it's at the water cooler (as much of a cliche as this is, I frequently talk to my co-worker at our water cooler in the back so it happens!) or before a class is starting or while you're in an elevator or hanging out at a mutual friend's place...don't fear the small talk. It can be awkward and painful, but sitting in silence, texting on your respective phones is, to me, equally as awkward. So just embrace the idea of a conversation and see where it goes! Talk about what they're studying, where they work, what they were up to that week, what their plans are for the rest of the weekend, whatever you want to bring up! You never know where conversations can go and I'm sure one, if not both, of you will be grateful that you didn't have to sit in silence for an extended amount of time.

2. Ask questions

I like to talk about myself, hence why I have a whole blog about life according to me. However, even I know that sometimes you need to ask people questions about themselves People love talking about themselves. Case in point: me. If someone asks me about my job or my blog, they're going to need to muzzle me to keep my mouth shut from then on out. Just like the above tip, ask them about what they've been up to! Generally speaking, even if they do love themselves as much as I am obsessed with love myself, they'll know to ask questions in return and then it's just a whole informational circle. Easy!

3. Follow through

If someone wants to meet up for lunch or coffee or something, follow through with it. If you exchange numbers or social media information, follow through. Text them, DM them, ask them what they're up to, suggest a time or place. There's nothing worse than saying "oh yeah, we should totally hang out!" and then never hang out with them. It's a total missed connection that you might not have otherwise!

4. Don't sweat it if it doesn't work out

And last but not least, don't sweat it if it doesn't work out. If your schedules never align, if the conversations are dull, at best, if neither of you are feeling the friendship. You don't have to be friends with everyone, but it is always nice to see a friendly face in a crowd and be able to at least say hi or exchange a bit of small talk with. You might not find your #BFF, but there's never anything wrong with having casual friends or acquaintances.

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