Put your phone down
When I see kids in class looking at their phones I assume a couple of things: they’re cramming, texting, or feel awkward and want something to do. Of course these aren’t always the case, but what else can the people around you think? Try pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and say something to them. It could be a simple “hey, what’s up?” or “did you do the homework?” Anything related to class is a surefire way to break the ice. If nothing else, looking up at the people who sit next to you is far more inviting than looking down at your phone.
Who doesn’t love the feeling when a stranger compliments your outfit? This can be scary, but I encourage anyone to try this simple tactic. I find myself waiting at a stop light to cross the street, but instead of silently admiring the shoes of the person in front of me, I can say, “hey I like your shoes!” with a smile and we both win. It feels pretty good giving compliments out, too. By initiating the conversation or giving the first compliment, you are already way more approachable. The people around you might even hear it and feel inclined to pass out a compliment to someone on their walk to class.
This one is the most important one in my opinion. Last semester I had a tough mid-term in a difficult class. When I got my grade back, I was disheartened to see I had done worse than I thought I did. In class, it seemed like everyone did better than me. I heard, “I got an A” or “that test was SO easy,” but to my surprise, some people who said they did well told me later they didn’t. You don’t have to tell the world that you bombed a midterm, but you can be more honest on how you did. If you say, “I didn’t do so well,” people won’t pry and others may admit the same for them. You can bond over how hard the test was and you might even find a new study buddy.
Your college experience is made up of some of the best years of your life. To help make sure you take every opportunity you have, be willing to step out of your comfort zone and talk to people. Friendship can make or break your experiences and you never know where you might find some of your new best friends.