OPINION: A college girl’s guide to making friends

College is a new and exciting place. Being in a new place can be overwhelming, but making friends doesn’t have to be.

Being nervous is normal. It may seem awkward at first, but it’s important to get out of your comfort zone. Almost everyone else is new to it at some point as well — don’t discourage yourself.

If you’re struggling to make friends, next time you go to class, try to make a connection with someone. It can be as simple as introducing yourself. Starting a conversation can only increase your odds of growing your friend group.

Small talk will be your best friend. You don’t need to tell someone your whole life story when you first meet them. Chances are that some of the people you talk to won’t become your friends, and that’s okay.

You never know when you will find someone you can relate to, so talk to anyone and everyone you see. On a large campus it is possible you may see someone interesting, then never see them again. Interact with them instead of just letting them walk by.

Be yourself. Don’t force relationships with people who aren’t going to like you for the person you are. Just because you started college doesn’t mean you need to change yourself.

If you are living on campus, your roommates and other students on your floor can become some of your closest friends. When you meet someone in the hallway, introduce yourself.

Sitting down and eating a meal with someone can encourage conversation. The cafeteria will always be filled with people who you can talk to.

Give compliments. You never know when someone may be having a bad day. A compliment might help them out and be a great conversation starter.

Invite them to an event. Campus events are always going on and can help get to know someone better.

Organizations and clubs are a great way to meet new people. There are hundreds that you can get involved in. Find one you like and interact with the other members. This is a perfect way to find people with similar interests.

Don’t limit yourself to one person. Find multiple friends who you can do a variety of things with.

Making friends in a new place can be hard. If you have trouble with it, just keep trying. There are people out there who you will have great connections with. You just have to find them.