I Have No Friends In College: How Do I Change That?

By Nicola Kirkpatrick|Updated June 14, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Deanna Daniels, LMFT

You've spent years exploring colleges and touring campuses. High school graduation is over, and you have finally landed on the campus that sets the course for the next leg of your life's journey. You're finding your way around the campus buildings, and you have your schedule down pat, but something is missing. You see groups of other students strolling around together, but you're feeling sad that you have no friends in college yet.

As excited as you were to start this new journey, leaving the comfort of your longtime classmates has been harder than you thought. With a big change in your mindset and some small changes in your approach, you'll soon find some classmates who will become a special part of your college experience.

Start with a Big Change in Your Mindset

Don't forget that one of the big reasons that you wanted to go to college was to gain some new life experiences. The college years are just the beginning of making that adjustment before you enter the full-time workforce.

Make an internal shift and grasp the notion that all of the other students are also there for a specific purpose. The credentialed experts at BetterHelp.com are just a call away to help guide you in a new direction.

Be aware that incoming freshmen are typically more open to making new friends. If you made some mistakes in high school or had some bad experiences there, recognize that no one knows what you were like in high school. Take advantage of the chance to reinvent yourself.

Make Small Changes in Your Approach to Fellow Students

The truth is that you are probably not alone in feeling like you don't have many friends in college. Don't be afraid to take some small steps to put yourself out there.

Mealtimes on campus are any time that you can squeeze in a few bites in between classes. You can almost always find someone to share a meal or snack with while waiting for the next class. You'll find students eating in the dining room, the common areas, and outside when the weather is nice. If a group of students is going out for a meal, ask if you can tag along.

Everyone eventually falls into a routine at school. Make note if someone always eats at the same time that you do. There's no point in both of you always eating alone.


Striking Up Conversations in College

Cat got your tongue? Think up some great conversation starters ahead of time. Compliment a classmate on an outfit or accessory. Ask if they are involved in any college groups or activities. Ask about what part of the country they are from and how they are adjusting to being away from home. Talk about your goals and future plans. Agree to continue the conversation another day if one of you needs to run off to class or make plans to do something fun together.

Keep your dorm room door open so that other students are aware that you are accessible. Study in the halls, common areas, or library and don't hole up in your dorm room all the time.

Finally, expect that your college experience will take you a bit out of your comfort zone. You may find it a bit unsettling at first, but in time, you will see how it's made you grow as a person.

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