It’s always challenging to begin a new phase of life and going to a community college is one of the biggest changes most young people will have yet encountered. Usually, you will be away from the comfort of home and will know few students on campus. Here are three techniques that can be used to help break the ice and build friendships.
The best place to make new friends at your community college will be in class since you already have something in common with your classmates – earning a good grade. This common goal provides even the shyest person an excuse to introduce themselves.
To start, try getting to your class a few minutes early. Many students arrive early and it provides a great opportunity to talk about previous lectures, the curriculum design or study groups. The study group is where great friendships can be built. The group setting also makes it easier and more efficient to get to know many people in a short amount of time. Most often, the group will end up socializing as they become more comfortable with each other. In addition to arriving early make sure you also stay a few minutes late. This provides the same openings as arriving early.
The cafeteria is another good place to meet new friends. It’s a bit more challenging for some people to feel comfortable with the various noises and general busyness of the setting, but don’t fear. Find someone you would like to know better and ask if the seat near them is taken. Don’t sit right next to them – everyone needs their space. Give them a little room. If the seat is not taken then sit down, smile and introduce yourself.
The student lounge is also good for meeting and socializing with new people, but it can be a bit daunting. Imagine the busyness of the cafeteria times ten. That said, the approach is the same - sit near a person of interest and say, “hi.” When the opportunity presents itself ask one or two questions. If the conversation progresses at bit you should then introduce yourself.
Clubs groups and organizations
No matter your particular interests, most community colleges will have something you find fun and engaging. There are clubs ranging from Auto Clubs to Volunteers in Action and everything in between. Bible Clubs, Scrabble Clubs, Yoga Clubs…there is something for just about everyone.
Most colleges also have athletic programs. The athletic programs vary from campus to campus so if you really want to play soccer why going to school, make sure you find out if they offer it before enrolling. Besides clubs and sports many people have found great friends by simply taking a job on campus. A campus job will give you an excuse to introduce yourself to many people ranging from students to staff.
As a final point, remember the names of people you meet. Carry a small notebook and write them down if necessary. Everyone loves to be remembered and when you use someone’s name it not only lets them know that you remember, they feel a little special about it.