Everyone has a story, so why not create one together? When it’s time for a party or get-together where you can relax and have a little fun, these are some ways to get to know everyone. (These ideas are great for people who live in dorms, apartments, or off-campus housing.)
Plan your own Collage dorm party
Thought up a cool theme for the Collage dorm party? Write it down. Put your words on an index card and put them in a bowl. Grab five cards each time you go to get some food or pick up something from the store. When you get back, grab another index card with five more ideas and put them in the bowl. At the end of the night, talk about what you saw on the index cards while everyone was deciding on their food (for example apple pie!). Now you’re getting to know everyone, and you didn’t even have to sit down and try to think of what to say.
Get your guests to introduce themselves.
If you’re in a dorm, apartment complex, or off-campus house, you’ll probably have a few new people around for your party. Make sure that everyone goes around the room and introduces themselves to the rest of the group. (Of course, if there are too many people for this formality it might not work. You might want to identify a few people beforehand to get an idea of what they want to do in college or what brought them on this trip. For example, someone who is a high school graduate taking pre-calc and doing a study abroad program in Spain. A professor who has been doing studies on the effect of different soils on plant growth.) If you’re really interested in what brought them here and why they did it, then go ahead and talk with them personally after the party or out of the group.
Host a meeting if you need more to talk about.
If you have way more people than can comfortably sit in one place, then use this as an excuse to host a meeting. You can set it up so that everyone sits in a circle and takes turns describing their interests, or you can use the cards to generate some good conversation starters. (Some people are great at getting to know others, and others aren’t. Having them read the cards can lead to the fun conversation without having everyone in a position to hear everyone else talk.)
Be Socially Informed
First-year students often get confused about how to go about making friends in college (or any other situation where you need to get along with a new group of people). They may think that if they want to talk with someone, they have to approach them. If they don’t approach the person, then they may think that there is no way to get to know them.
One way to get over this is to change the way you think about approaching people. In a Q&A with the Office of First-Year Experience at Boise State University, Michelle Richardson said that one way to make friends in college is “By being friendly, go with your gut. Don’t be afraid. We can all say no… You never know when a connection will bring two people together.”
Another way is to remember ways to break the ice. As College Magazine states: “‘Just be a human being,’ [says John Fischer of Big Bear Lake C.C.], ‘and make sure you do stuff that gets you out of your comfort zone.’”
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The trick is to take the initiative, without coming across as overly forward. The trick is to try and guess what someone else might be interested in, and then ask them about it. This way, it doesn’t feel like you are approaching someone. It also doesn’t force the person to be social and talk to you. Because they could be shy or too reserved to talk.
Be selective in choosing where you sit.
Have a meeting at a coffee shop or library? Then, reserve the first two-thirds of the tables so people can sit with their friends, while also making it look like there is a lot of people in your group.
Make friends with the staff.
If you plan a party where alcohol serves, make sure that you’re not breaking any rules. The last thing you want is to have the police show up and ruin your or someone else’s college dorm parties. Also, make sure that you bring glass bottles out of your house and into your car because the broken glass on the ground can be very dangerous for people who are drunk.
Try the Restaurant Pizza Rule.
“If you’re going to go out and eat, don’t be afraid of trying new things, and make sure that you always try something new with at least three people. At the same time, remember that it can take a whole evening to get to know one person if you don’t talk at all. If someone comes up to you, smile and ask them how they are doing. It makes each of us feel good to know that we appreciate by others.”
Add new people to your perfect collage dorm party each time you go to get a drink.
If you’re in a cafeteria or dining hall, have someone go in each time you go out to get something and ask people what they would like. You can also choose people who look like they would enjoy the perfect collage dorm party. For example, if someone looks like they are vegan or vegetarian, then have them go in, and ask them if they would like a vegetarian pizza (or some fruit). If you’re drinking in a bar, have someone pick up a second drink for them.
Have people who are good at conversation fill the seats around you.
If you’re sitting by yourself, then try and find people who can start some conversations with you. This can include someone in your group or a person next to you that looks like they are willing to talk (but it doesn’t mean that they want to). Don’t try to do everything by yourself. If you try to start conversations with everyone, and not just the people around you. Then you’re more likely to be able to talk with your entire group.