Making Friends In Real Life (IRL)
We’ll let you in on something hidden truth: you’re not alone if you’re nervous about returning to school this autumn after a year and a half of virtual learning. While you may be excited to get back into the IRL flow of things, the prospect of exercising those out-of-use social skills and interacting with people one on one after a long absence might be scary. That’s why we’ve put together the ideal social cheat sheet to assist you in making new friends whether you’re in high school, college, or somewhere in between. After reading them, you’ll be itching to get out from behind your computer, get your backpack, and walk to school, where your new friends will be waiting.
1. Look for Folks Who Share Your Interests
You can’t expect strangers to approach you and ask to be your new best friend, however, you can put yourself in settings where meeting other people is more comfortable. Begin by participating in activities and interests that you already enjoy, such as student council or a sports team. That way, you’ll already know that the other individuals there share your interests, and you’ll have a great place to start a discussion.
2. Maintain an Open Mind
That being said, because someone doesn’t have the same obsession with Justin Bieber as you have doesn’t imply you can’t be friends. When it comes to establishing new friends, try to be flexible. It’s sometimes beneficial to have hobbies that differ from those of your buddies. How else will you learn about new books, movies, and television shows? You’ll never leave a shell if you hang around with clones of yourself all the time, so don’t dismiss a prospective new acquaintance too hastily.
3. Take It Carefully at First
Would you rush up to someone, call them your homie, and demand that you spend every second with them if you had a huge crush on them? No. The same is true when it comes to creating friends: you should take things carefully at first. Before you propose going elsewhere, pause until you feel willing to talk to each other on your way home from school. Avoid situations that are high-pressure or potentially embarrassing, such as a family meal. Choose something more laid-back: “So, have you watched Zendaya’s new film? I thought it would be fun to gather a group of folks to go.”
4. Get to Meet Your Dormmates
This advice is for new students in college. As you are going to college, you may find yourself living in a community-style dorm, which is a terrific way to meet new people since everyone is in the same boat, trying to make new friends. That is to say, your new classmates will be ecstatic if someone takes the initiative and invites them over for a study session.
You’ll also notice that folks are more or less in the lobby in dorms. Then get out of your room and engage with the other people on your floor. In an attempt to get individuals to bond, your resident assistant (or RA) may set up certain group-building activities. While these may appear to be goofy, they are insanely popular! Before you dismiss them totally, go visit at least one or two. It only takes a while and effort to get to know your dormmates, so go for it.
5. Use Study Sessions to Your Advantage
In university, particularly first year, one may find oneself in some very large classes, which means the chances are good that someone else will want to study for a test with you. While you’re waiting for the lecturer to arrive or packing up your belongings after class, strike up a conversation with individuals seated next to you. Propose an unplanned study session complete with food. Your seatmate is likely to be just as worried as you are about their first big college exam. You’ll have a regular reading group in place before you know it.
6. Everywhere You Go, Start a Conversation
Keep this in mind as you stroll through the halls of the school. Begin a discussion with the individual sitting next to you in the cafeteria. If you see someone you know in the quad, say hello “Isn’t it true that you’re in my English class? What are your thoughts on the book we’re currently reading?” In class, ask the individual sitting next to you questions. Just don’t be afraid to talk to others and let go of whatever insecurities you may have. All you should do is start the conversation, and you’ll discover that with a conversation starter, forging friendships is a lot easier.