Hi, friends! Today’s post is special because it’s a collaboration with Alexa from Life Shuffled about “expanding your social circle.” Alexa wrote her own post about expanding your social circle, and I put my own spin on it by writing about how to expand your social circle as a college student. College is an important time to network and build relationships, not only with your peers, but with your professors, too. So here are some of the best ways to expand your social circle in college.
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Join extracurricular activities
The best way to make friends in college is to join extracurriculars. You can join extracurriculars inside and outside of school. At an extracurricular activity, you can meet like-minded people that aren’t necessarily in your classes. These people also chose this activity, so chances are that they have something in common with you. For example, if you chose to join your campus’s religious organization, chances are that the students in that organization share your religious beliefs.
If you’re interested in joining an activity, a good way to start is by checking your school’s website for a list of activities they offer. Once you find one you’re interested in, try to figure out how to join!
Talk to your professors
I know professors can seem intimidating, but as I’ve previously written in my Interview With a Professor post, most of them aren’t! They are there to help you succeed, so make use of them. If you’re confused about a subject in class, ask them. If you’re interested in their field, talk about it with them. Talking to them will help you build a relationship with a professional in your field (and down the road they might be willing to write you a letter of recommendation if you’re a good student!)
Also, don’t be afraid to show up to office hours. Those times are set aside so that they can focus on helping you! More than one of my professors have mentioned that barely any students come to their office hours, and I really think that’s a shame. Office hours, and professors themselves, for that matter, are a very underutilized resource.
Another way to make friends (and to give back to the community!) is to volunteer. Volunteering with your friends is not only a good way to help others, but it’s also a great way to bond with them and to bond with new friends. Find a cause (or an organization) you’re passionate about and ask them how you can help them. The organization will get the help they need, and you will give back to the community and make friends. It’s a win-win situation!
Start a study group
Starting a study group is my favorite way to make friends in college! It’s nice to have a group of fellow students who are willing to help you, and that you are willing to help in return. It makes studying for an organic chemistry exam much less painful.
This is my personal favorite way to make friends. Last semester, every time we had an organic chemistry test, a group of us would gather together in the library to study together for a few hours before the test. We would all be working independently on different problems, and every once in a while someone would say, “Hey, do you understand this question?” and we would all go over to see if we could help them. It was a good way to spend time with my classmates and to get some studying in before the test.
College is a great time and place to start building your social and professional network. Build relationships with others by joining an extracurricular activity, volunteering, and starting a study group, and you’ll find that your social circle will grow!
What’s your favorite way to grow your social circle?