How to Make Friends in College When You Live Off Campus

How to make friends in college

There are many wonderful things about living off campus when you go to college. You get the experience of truly living on your own. You enjoy more freedoms than you do living in the dorms, and you likely save money on housing.

Still, at times it can feel isolating to live off campus. Even if you reside just a couple blocks away, you often miss out on things like eating at the dining hall or late-night talks in the dorm. Especially when you’re shy, it can be hard to know how to make friends in college when you live off campus.

The good news is, it’s still possible. You may have to step out of your comfort zone at first, but you can forge the same deep and lasting friendships at school that others who live on campus enjoy by using some of these ideas.

Reach out During Class

The best place to meet people if you commute or live off campus is during class, when you’re around many of your peers for an extended time. You need to find a way to talk to someone to build an initial relationship. One easy way to do this is to ask to borrow a book, explaining that you forgot yours. Most people will be happy to oblige while you look up the information you need and then return it.

Once you’ve done that, you can ask about what they thought of the book or another recent homework assignment. Before you know it, that small talk will lead to shared smiles in class and eventually a new friendship.

How to Make Friends in Community College

When you attend community college, you may be around people of all ages, with different life experiences. You can easily start up a conversation based on what you notice about them. Say you see a person who wears what looks like a uniform to class each week. Inquire about their work and what brings them to school.

Maybe you notice a person who’s in two of your classes. They could be exploring the same major as you. Ask what made them decide to study accounting, history or whatever classes you share.

How to Make Friends in College When You Commute

If you commute to campus from home, you may face other hurdles to making new friends. You could have younger siblings at home and prefer not to bring your college friends around them. Or you may care for an older parent or grandparent, and you don’t want to disturb them.

Make the most of your time on campus instead to seek out new friendships. Consider trying these ideas to meet new people:

  • Join an on-campus club, such as an intramural soccer team or school newspaper
  • Get a job on campus
  • Try out for a choral group or play
  • Sign up to tutor others in your strongest subject

When you reach out through any of these activities, you’re sure to meet new people, and the fact that you live off-campus won’t stand in the way of forming new friendships. Those lifelong relationships could one day become your fondest memory of college.   

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