Let’s face it. Going off to college can be a little nerve-wrecking. We know that the “full college experience” has a lot to do with who we meet and spend our time with. Questions such as these can ring in our ears: Who is my roommate going to be?
Will I be the only black girl on my floor? Will I find my lifelong friends like everyone else seems to do? Let me assure you that if you follow these five tips, you’ll be just fine.
1. Go to as many freshman events as possible
Most likely, your school will have a bunch of Welcome Week or freshman-targeted events. And they usually have free food! Some of them will probably be lame, but it’s a good chance to meet people. That’s the only way you’re going to make any friends.
You have to get out of the four walls of your dorm room! At these events, scope out the people who seem most like what you’re looking for.
If you’re an introvert and want friends who are more low-key and chill, there will probably be another girl like you, who’s keeping to herself, just observing.
Start a conversation. She could be your new best friend! Or, if you want to make friends with the life of the party so you can become more outgoing, engage with that person. It’s your call. But, at least show up!
2. Check out the student organizations
It’s a good idea to attach yourself to an organization that you’re interested in. That’s how you can get access to service opportunities, leadership roles, letters of recommendation, etc. Also, you’ll find like-minded people there. My school’s Black Student Alliance was my home.
Of course, if you’re attending an HBCU, you might find your family in a professional organization, a fashion club, or a dance team.
Whatever the case may be, you’re going to find your people where your own interests are. Sooner or later, you’ll be going to meetings and events together, creating memories along the way.
3. Don’t overlook your classmates
Pay attention to the students who are in your major classes. You guys will most likely be seeing each other a lot. It’s going to get hard and you’re going to need people to study (and maybe cry!) with, so you might as well make friends early.
Even if your social interests may not align, your professional goals might, and that is even more important than having cool people to hang out with.
4. Don’t be superficial
Please don’t judge a book by its cover. Just because you and another black girl may be the only ones on your floor doesn’t mean you have to stick together.
Likewise, just because you and another girl may have the same fashion sense or rock the same natural hairstyles doesn’t mean that you’re going to be besties.
College is the time where people are figuring out who they are, so don’t rely too heavily on how someone presents themselves. The true test is spending time with them and seeing their character in the rough situations.
5. Don’t force it
Remember to let things happen naturally. Just like a romantic relationship, don’t try to force a friendship.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to put yourself out there, but it does mean that you shouldn’t feel bad if you don’t have your BFF by the end of September.
Be yourself, keep your priorities straight, stay true to your interests and everything else will fall into place.