Let’s be honest: making new friends can be daunting. Especially if you’re heading into a new school, new classes, or a new job, it can feel awkward to put yourself out there and start conversations with complete strangers. As someone who is more on the shy side, I’ve been there before. But, what I’ve realized is that a lot of my close friends are people I met through spontaneous decisions I’ve made! If you push yourself outside of your comfort zone, even just a little bit, you will most likely be pleasantly surprised.
Usually, I’m someone who likes to plan out what I do and I’m not much of a spur-of-the-moment type of person. But when I started college, I pushed myself to open up, and go to a lot of different school events and organization meetings that I might not have gone to before. During my orientation week, I randomly decided to go to the pool one day and met a group of people who have become my closest friends today.
As someone who can get nervous when approaching others first, this was a big step for me. But as soon as I got over my initial nervousness of meeting the first several people, going up and starting conversations with the 10 people after that became much easier. I think a big part of making new friends is that you have to make that initial move. Sure, it will probably be kind of awkward, but these are nonetheless experiences for you to learn from in order to help you keep putting yourself out there.
Another thing that really helps is to find those who share common interests with you, so you can easily create conversations and hopefully get to interact with each other on a deeper level. Some of my friends now are people who have been in the same classes as me, or are in clubs that I’m also passionate about!
It’s just a matter of being more involved in your school, community, or whichever setting you are in, and approaching those you think you can connect with well. There’s bound to be people who would love to start up conversations with you and with whom you can make those connections that could very well turn into really meaningful relationships.