Where to Meet New Friends

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Coming to college every day, you meet an enormous amount of people. However, you do not get to see them too often, as you usually jump from class to class with a ten-minute break in between. Hopefully, you don’t get to talk to someone sitting next to you while classes are in session, as it is usually a distraction for others, so how do you make new friends on campus? I recall my high school friend saying once that our high school and college friends are the best for life because, as she believed, “they don’t need anything from you; they appreciate you the way you are as a person.” What she basically meant was that later on in life, people try to make connections related to their business and meet with friends that are useful to them in some way or another, whereas adolescents get together to play games, to sing in a band, to go to the movies, to do sports and what not. I don’t fully agree with her, as I think that friends are friends no matter where they work, and good friends appreciate personality first at whichever age they are. However, the truth is: as we get older, we get sucked into a career or taking care of sick relatives, start a family or our own business, and we don’t have as much time to go out with friends as we used to, while being in college. (And note: there are no discounts as great as student discounts, which encourages going out as well). Therefore, while being a student, everyone should try to make connections with as many peers as possible. The question is: where will you meet them if you are just running from a class to class?

The answer is: nowhere. But don’t be frustrated: the key is not to limit your college experience to being in class. There are always lots of opportunities to meet new people on campus. You just have to find out if they are available in your university. Here are some ideas on where to meet other students with interests similar to yours.

Library. Everyone goes to a college library once in a while, whether you need to copy a passage from a textbook or someone’s notes, or to read an extra article to prepare for a test. Sometimes students hang out in the library during their breaks; they have nothing to do and they use their free time to study a little bit. I found out that there were study group rooms in my college library where students could discuss the material for their group presentation, or ask each other questions. A library is a good place to meet people and get some tutoring. If you struggle with math, find someone who has the same problems, or, if you’re lucky, no problems, in this area. It is always easy to share the burden, especially if you are in the same class, so don’t hesitate to talk to people. They are usually willing to help.

Gym. If your school has a fitness room or a pool, this is another place you should visit often. First of all, it is a great part of your student savings (free workout whenever you want), so why should you miss it? Secondly, you may meet some interesting individuals while stretching or running and maybe learn new exercise techniques. I remember meeting the same people in the gym, and I would always talk to them, even if I had a limited amount of time to workout. I would pant running on a treadmill while shortly replying to what they were saying to me. A better place to chat for me was the college pool or sauna because people are usually more relaxed and speak more eagerly.

College clubs. I have emphasized the importance of college clubs before, and I won’t repeat myself. The only thing I would say is that a college club is a great opportunity to make a connection with those who are passionate about things you like. If you are a historian, join the History Club, and you never know how much additional knowledge you can get out of it.

Free events. Many colleges have students perform on stage for their peers for no charge. It is an awesome chance to see what other youngsters are capable of and to discover how to apply your own talent. Sometimes there are also job fairs where you can meet with potential employers and fellow students who are looking for a job as well, who may give you a hint about where to look. I have heard a lot about free movie events and colleges. Students usually get together and watch a particular film with a discussion aftermath. In my college, Kingsborough, the administration always provided free snacks, or sometimes sandwiches, and beverages for those who attended the events. If they do something like that in your university, don’t miss it!

Field trips. If your university organizes any trips, this is the best way to go. I didn’t get a chance to get on many of those, but I once received a ticket for a Broadway show for only $13, and an admission to Six Flags Great Adventure for as low as $13 as well. Moreover, the park was closed that day; there were only college students and kids from high school, and we didn’t have to deal with the lines. It was affordable; I had a lot of fun and some tan, plus communicating with other students made me several new friends.

Every college has its own organizations and events. Try to attend as many as possible. It is not only about making friends and having a good time with them; you will also graduate with vivid memories about your school years, so that you will remember one day how exciting your life in college was.

Ekaterina Lalo, Campus Clipper Blogger

For more of my articles on values in New York City, check out my new blog http://nycvalues.blogspot.com

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