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The Guide to Making New Friends

Going to college is like taking the ‘you’ you’ve known and worked on for so long and plonking yourself in a completely new environment. Our comfort zones have now been stripped away and we are encouraged to adapt to our new surroundings. In the shuffling mess that is moving and adjusting, how do we go about making new friends? How do we segue from feeling the absence of old friends? The transition is actually a lot simpler than we realize. The first step has nothing to do with seeking out a companion, but actually begins with studying oneself. When changing environments, it is very easy to stress out. The same applies for changing the homes of animals and pets. Everything around us seems to be changing. It then becomes difficult to remember or to gauge who we are, though we might have known it extremely well before the move. Start small. Observe your reaction to the change. Do you like it? Are you happy? Are you ready to let go of the past and embrace your new life? Answering positively to these questions is paramount to forging new, successful relationships. When you feel ready, others around you can feel that you’re ready as well. Take out your headphones, smile a bit more, let your happiness show. People tend to gravitate more towards others that know themselves and are happy rather than downers.

Now that you’ve fixed yourself, it’s time to meet some people. The best way to go about doing this is to do things that interest you. Through this method, you will encounter people with the same interests. When your friendships solidify, you can then fangirl together, start an epic bromance, or even date? It is also important to keep in mind that sticking with what you know is not good enough. This is college! There are plenty of social opportunities to try new things. Got some extra time on your hands? Join a club! Take chances! Do things you wouldn’t normally do! Now, I’m not saying to jump off a cliff in the interest of finding a bungee-jumping friend or doing things you know are wrong just to make a new circle of dangerous acquaintances, but are you not sure if you’ll take to a theater class? Take it and see! You’ll get GE credits out of the way whilst meeting a myriad of people. Who knows? They may be trying to make friends too and in your mutual struggles, you can find each other!

In short, everyone is clamoring to find out who they are. The thing is, there will never be a definite answer because we will change and change and change again over the course of our lives. Face it. Who you are now is A LOT different from who you were freshman year in high school. We ditched the braces, cut and dyed our hair, our bodies and confidence filled out a little bit more. But if you make a positive experience out of your changes, we can all grow up together and make some lifelong friends out of it. So don’t be afraid to discover yourself and what you want and make yourself approachable.

Ria Perera

Ria Perera is a freshman at UC Santa Barbara studying Economics. Ria was born in London, England and raised in sunny California. Some of her interests include singing, dancing, and sketching. Writing is one of her most avid passion and she has been working on a young adult novel for two years that she is hoping to publish.

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