While all the notions of college being a fun place may be true, meeting new people and making new friends definitely may not be a cake walk for all. Though, the ability to mingle comes naturally to some for others, the anxiety and unfamiliarity of the college environment can prove to be overwhelming. So, just how do you go about making friends and networking in a place where you are simply one of the thousands?
Try to break the ice by taking the first step. You have to be willing to interact with people. Being the unwelcoming angry child in the corner of a classroom doesn’t leave room for social growth; if you choose to isolate yourself you will end up being a loner for the rest of the year. An SYB – Arch student at an Academy of Architecture, was forced to talk to his peers which helped him make friends. Initially, he preferred opening up to people at his own pace. He was considered a weirdo and got to hear the most bizarre rumors about him self. However, he finally realized that his quiet demeanor was being misinterpreted and he decided to change his peers’ perspectives on the first class trip. During this trip he spoke to some students. He was glad that it helped him break the ice with a few of the people he now calls friends. His friends soon discovered his passion for singing, and got along doing a few shows together. Because of this, he got the opportunity to meet more people involved in music.
A TYBA student from Jai Hind College, too corroborates when she says, initiating a conversation is as simple as saying, hey, how are you? She goes on to add her experience of how she made friends in college during one of the most unexpected events. It was during the first weeks of her college and along with some other students, was stranded in the college for three days because of the 26 / 7 deluge. They heard that transport was next to impossible, so ended up in college for a few days. While being stuck up helped people stuck in their cars on Marine Drive by distributing some biscuits and other snacks such as wafers. It was incredible and brought all closer.
In school, your classmates and seniors generally come from the same social background as you. However, colleges generally have a fair mix of students from diverse backgrounds. So do not be rigid about speaking only to people who look or dress in a certain way. Of course everyone has preferences, but don’t pre-judge people. Let go off your inhibitions and try to accept your classmates as they are. One student cried on his first day in college because all his friends were in different colleges. He found him self stuck with people who soaked their hair in coconut oil. However he soon realized that he had to overcome his reservations and mingle with people around him.
Usually, everyone has skills to bring to the table, so don’t be shy to show off your talents. In fact, being open and confident about your abilities can help you meet people who share similar interests. In junior college one Mr.J looked extremely young once when he was walking through the foyer, he heard a couple of seniors contemplate on whether they should rag him. However, J’s drumming skills soon earned him huge popularity among the students. Also, it turned out that the seniors who were planning to rag J were guitarists. After they noticed J’s drumming skills they were keen on performing with him. Since then his relationship with those seniors has changed drastically.
Nonetheless, what if there are instances when you do have some exceptional talent but seen unapproachable or just plain weird? Take the case of, a student at Jai Hind College, who portrays the image of an 80s rock star with rings on all fingers on one hand, a few chains around his neck and long hair and sideburns. A lot of people kept away from him because of his looks initially. However, he did meet open minded students in college who embraced him for his rock star looks. As BMS projects and presentations begun, his new friends noticed his exceptional computer graphics and video skills, which also caught the attention of Jai Hind administration. The administration then urged him to teach the first year students for a semester. Later, on, he was even asked to design the logo for BMS college festival. Soon companies came me up to inquire if he was interested in designing a logo for them. Thankfully, college life unfolded with ease as he met the right people at the right time.
College festivals are a powerful platform to meet like minded people and to express your self. Festivals not only help you develop team and leadership skills, but also give you the opportunity to work with a range of different people as well as network with people from different industries. A lot of students have landed in jobs, especially in marketing, while looking for sponsorships for festivals. There is no better way to get your name out there than by directly communicating with companies. And it’s not just festivals; it’s any other forum where students can take up new responsibilities.
It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious. Perhaps this isn’t completely true. Perhaps, everyone has at least one charming facet to their personality. The charm involves in how you learn the ropes of college life, and how you meet people. After all, you have nothing to lose initiating conversation.