If you are someone like me, making friends in high school came naturally. That is why coming to college was an absolute shock.
In college, especially if you go to a larger school, it’s so easy to feel like you don't fit anywhere. The college environment can cause even the most outgoing person to falter, feeling lonely in the back of the classroom when the people around you do not care to make friends for any other reason than to share study guides.
That first semester, aside from a small (great!) group of friends, I wasn't able to find that true community I needed.
Flash forward 2 years later and I can hardly even remember what it felt like to feel so tiny in a big community. I have made friends who actually care to be there, and I finally feel like I belong at my school.
The path to finding where you fit is never easy, but hopefully these steps will help you get there:
Step One: Be You
Yes, I know this sounds cliche but it's true. This is the first step to finding the people you will call your tribe. Everyone has something that makes them interesting and unique, so put that on display! Don't hide who you are -- if you do, you'll just end up with friends who don't really love you for you.
The things that make you different will make you memorable. Don't be scared to show them off.
Step Two: Be Positive
Not everyone is happy all the time, and that is okay! But, people are attracted to what you put out in the world and want to be friends with people who uplift them. So smile! Good vibes attract good people!
Step Three: Say Yes
I've said it before and I will scream it again because it is a wonderful thing to be so open: SAY YES!
Whether you're invited to attend a club meeting or invited to lunch by a girl from your floor, say yes and be open to the opportunity. Yes, if things are meant to be they will, but sometimes fate needs you to take action. How do you expect to find your people if you're never out in the world?
Step Four: Take a Chance
College is not only about finding yourself, but also about creating yourself. So mingle with people who are different than you, people you would never imagine yourself getting along with.
It may not work all the time but who knows, the differences between you may give you a piece of yourself you never knew was missing. People are interesting, unique, and amazing; take a chance on them.
Step Five: Join Something, Anything
While all the steps before this one are very helpful, this is arguably the most important. Find out when your college is hosting a club fair and just sign your name on every sheet!
Joining something gives you common ground with people, a shared interest. At the end of my freshman year I rushed a sorority that has changed my life. I have made friends with some amazing women who show me how wanted and valued I am.
For you, it doesn't necessarily have to be a sorority -- any group that piques your interest can work! You'll automatically meet new people and be one step closer to finding your true friends.
Once you have found your tribe, always remember how you felt before. Find the young woman who needs someone, and be that someone. Every person you meet changes you in some way, wouldn't it be so great to be that change?
I'd like to hear your stories in the comments below!
Did you have trouble making friends in college? What helped you find your tribe?