Making friends on campus isn’t always easy. It can feel like everyone else is part of a group and that you’re the only one struggling to find your place. In reality, most students are in the same boat. Most new students have to work at establishing friendships and connections when they first arrive on campus. Don’t get frustrated if it takes weeks or even months to start building a good circle of friends. Be patient and look for opportunities to get out and meet new people.
While you are adjusting to your new college environment and possibly feeling a little insecure about your social connections on campus, your existing friends can be a huge support network. Your friends from home, who might also be new to their campuses (if they’ve gone away to school too), will probably be able to relate to your feelings. Texting, FaceTime, social media and even phone calls every once in a while, especially in those first few weeks, will help you through some of the adjustment period and offer opportunities for you to tell people about your experience at school.
Once you start feeling more comfortable with your social circle at school, there’s no need to toss away your friends from your high school – you can have both! Yet, it’s unlikely that you’ll have as much time to stay connected with people from home in the same way as you did in the past. The classes, new experiences and friendships that you get involved with at college will require a lot of your attention. These changes are normal and many of your friends will be going through the same thing.
As you get more settled at school you might need to try harder to stay connected with your old friends. If your schools are close enough, you and your friends can plan to visit each other’s campuses. Too far to visit? It could be helpful to plan a time to catch up each week or couple of weeks. You can also stay connected by planning a reunion when you are both back in your hometown. No matter what, you and your previous relationships will go through some changes during this time. This might feel uncomfortable at first but eventually you’ll learn to balance the old parts of your life with new activities, interests and relationships.