It's move-in day at college, and you're all settled in your dorm room. You want to get out and explore your new home and meet some new friends, yet the idea of being around a group of strangers makes you want to crawl into your bed with your headphones on!

A cartoon student banging their head on a desk. The text reads:

College is the time for stepping outside of your comfort zone, exploring a new identity, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Learning to juggle new experiences and your social battery is a learning curve that takes time, but these steps helped me embrace being an introvert while cultivating relationships along the way.

Join clubs and organizations

Club soccer? Hospital volunteering? Anime club?

Joining clubs and organizations that interest you is a great way to authentically meet others who share the same values and interests as you. Colleges have hundreds of organizations that cater to different interests, from sports clubs to social justice.

Getting involved in a group that consistently meets throughout the semester will allow you to meet new people and cultivate meaningful relationships.

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Joining an organization in college helped me meet new people who later became my friends! Having a familiar face on campus was nice and we even got frozen yogurt together!

Some organizations will "click" for you, and others won't. Try out a bunch of different clubs and organizations, and see which ones you enjoy most. Pick a few that resonate with you and use them as an outlet to decompress from the stressors of college.

Make friends in your classes

It's important to get to know your peers in your classes. You may end up working on a group project together, studying for an exam together, or end up in another class with them in the future! Introduce yourself, exchange contact information, and consistently attend class.

Three friends. One friend puts her arms around the other two and pats their chests.

I've found that classes are a great way to meet people who have similar interests as you, and the consistency of showing up will create familiarity and comfort. Plus, it's great to have someone who can help you catch up if you miss class!

Get to know your roommate

Ah, your roommate...sigh. Someone who could be your best friend or your worst! Creating a healthy housing environment is crucial to your overall well-being in college.

  • Invite your roommate to dinner or activities.

  • Be considerate of space and privacy.

  • Check in on them if they look like they need a friend.

A person falling asleep on a bed.

My roommates turned out to be some of my closest friends in college and we spent so much time together cooking dinner, watching movies, and staying up chatting into the morning hours!

Even if your roommate isn't your best friend, establishing boundaries early on is essential to creating a safe space to relax and recharge. Create policies about guests and noise, and come up with a conflict-resolution plan for any problems that may arise.

Check out this Byte for tips on conflict resolution.

Set boundaries!

Too exhausted to socialize? Uncomfortable in a new situation?

It's okay to say no!

Recognizing your limits and setting personal boundaries is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle in college. Stay in and take time for yourself. Set daily time limits on social media usage if that's helpful, too.

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Engage in solo hobbies and interests that you can escape to when you need to take a break. There will be times in college when your friends aren't available or don't want to do the activities that you want to do, so learning to become content with spending time alone is important. Table for one at your favorite restaurant? Yes, please!

Homer Simpson in his kitchen holding pies. He tells Bart,

Remember that the "college experience" is what you make of it, so slow down, take time to rest and recharge, and spend your time investing in the activities you want to do.

A woman in silk pajamas gets comfortable in bed with a book and a cup of tea.

Which of the following would NOT be an example of setting boundaries in college?

A. Deciding not to go to the party because you're busy the following day.

B. Shortening your list of extracurriculars because you've spread yourself too thin.

C. Ignoring your roommate inviting guests over past the agreed-upon time to keep the peace.

D. Asking your roommate to go to a common area to take a phone call.


Which of the following would NOT be an example of setting boundaries in college?


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