You’re not going to make friends with, or even hit it off with, every person you meet and talk to when you first come to school. This doesn’t mean you’re an unlikable failure. It just means some people aren’t the best match for you. You don’t need to get every last person on the campus to like you. You just have to find a handful of people you get along with well. 🙂
Say you’re at an Orientation Week event and you’ve been talking to a group of people. They all announce they’re going to check out a certain place once the event is over. They seem friendly enough to you, but they didn’t specifically invite you along. In cases like this just go along as well or ask if it’s cool if you can come too. It’s not like this is some long-established social circle that you’re intruding on. Nothing has formed yet. It’s cool to just tag along with these proto groups and see where things go.
You may also find yourself in a situation where you know there are certain freshmen events going on later that day, but for whatever reason you find yourself alone in your room with no one to go with. That first week is chaotic and things like this can easily happen. Just go to the event by yourself and then try to meet or run into people once you’re there. Again, everything is up in the air so this is fine. Even the students who came in groups will be meeting lots of new people there, so it’s fine if you’re doing the exact same thing, but just happened to show up by yourself.
Most people are understandably worried about whether they’ll be able to make friends in college or not. If they’re currently shy or awkward they have even more reasons to fret about it. Sometimes people are anxious beforehand, but once they arrive for that first week of school they find everything just seems to work out. They still feel shy and out of their element, but at the same time, they meet people and form a social circle much more easily than they would have expected.
What I think happens in these situations is that even though that person may see themselves as inhibited or clumsy around people, they had more social skills and positive traits under the surface than they realized or gave themselves credit for. Once they were put in the new, easy-to-meet-people university environment those hidden strengths were able to show themselves.
This point isn’t to falsely get anyone’s hopes up. I also realize that many people come to college and continue to struggle socially, and need additional help. However, I just wanted to mention the possibility that you may worry about college a lot beforehand, but find things aren’t so hard once you get there.
Yeah, there are a handful of people who glide into the college experience effortlessly and confidently and seem to know half the campus by the end of the third day. Don’t worry about them. They’re the minority. Most people feel awkward and uncertain when they first go to university. It is a major life transition after all. The thing is most people put on a brave face and act like they have it all together because they believe everyone else feels that way. Nervousness also doesn’t show as much as you’d think. So you have a situation where pretty much everyone feels a bit uncomfortable, but they look around and see that all the other people appear confident. So they decide they better act self-assured too. Then some other unsure person looks at them and the cycles continues. 🙂 🙂