Hey guys! Welcome back. I had a request to write something about how to start a conversation and keep it going in college. Going to college can be difficult if you don’t know anybody and if you are already not good at making friends you can easily get discouraged. But I have learned from experience that there is nothing quite as simple as making friends in college. And I am here to explain exactly how to do it. You don’t have to do all of these things, just pick the ones that make sense to you.
Tip #1: Be consistent.
I am starting with this because I want to make it clear that you can’t have one conversation with someone and then assume you are friends. Keep in touch.
Tip #2: Ask simple questions. The key to having a good first conversation is to keep things light in the beginning. Ask for a name. Ask them how they are doing. If they keep the conversation going, great. If not, don’t take it personally. Just move on. This is a great way to start a conversation though. It’s very casual and simple. Anyone can do it.
Tip #3: Talk to people you see regularly. If you live in a residence hall, talk to those who live around you. Talk to people you sit near in class. When you join a club or start an on-campus job get to know those people. You are going to see a lot of them, so you might as well be friends right?
Tip #4: Don’t worry so much about gender. If you are a girl, don’t be afraid to start up a conversation with a guy. If you are a guy, talk to a girl. Make it clear that you just want to be friends. This may seem uncomfortable, but it’s really not. Just allow yourself to be open with the possibility of being friends with the opposite gender.
Tip #5: Ask about their college experience. Ask them how they like college. If you are both freshman, ask them how they are adjusting. Ask them what they do during their free time. Talk about events going on. If there is one thing you are the other person have in common it is that you are both college students.
Tip #6: Tell a joke. If you see something funny happen, make a joke about it to the person standing next to you. Or just tell a funny joke you know. Anything to make you both more comfortable.
Tip #7: Use body language. Don’t close yourself off. Be open. Smile. Maintain as much eye contact as you can.
Tip #8: Find common ground. Aside from being college students, it’s good to find out if you have other things in common. Find out what their major is and tell them yours. If they are the same, talk about why you chose it. Talk about what you love about it and what you don’t particularly care for. If they are different, talk about each different major. Describe yours and allow them to describe theirs. This is a great way to get a good conversation going because you are talking about something you are hopefully passionate about. If you are undecided, talk about what you are thinking about. Also, you could talk about distance from home. If you both live far away from home, you could talk about adjusting and feeling homesick. Ask about clubs they plan to join and compare class schedules. Find out if you will ever see this person again.
Tip #9: Acknowledge the awkward, embrace the awkward. When having a conversation with someone you don’t know, it can feel awkward. Just acknowledge to the other person that you know it’s awkward. This will help you both feel more comfortable because you are embracing it. It doesn’t have to be scary.
Tip #10: Keep it natural. Don’t try to talk to someone you don’t want to be friends with. Don’t try to talk about things you don’t know about. Don’t try to impress anyone. Just be yourself and talk about things that you want to talk about.
Tip #11: Tell stories. Talk about your past. Tell stories about high school. Talk about your home and your family. Talk about your pet(s). Let the person get to know you and get to know them as well.
Tip #12: Be confident. But don’t be arrogant. Don’t be afraid to start up a conversation with someone. If it doesn’t work, just move on. Don’t take it personally. You won’t become friends with everyone you talk to and that’s okay. Just stay true to yourself.
Those are my tips for starting and maintaining a conversation in college. Making new friends can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Put yourself out there and your friends will come naturally. Don’t try to force anything. Give it time and it will happen. What is meant to be will be. Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this. Please like it if you did. Comment your requests and let me know what other advice you are seeking. Don’t forget to follow if you are not already and I will see you next time!