It can seem hard to meet new people in college when you’re an introvert, but no matter how old you are or how shy you are around people, college is one of the best places to make new friends. Most people, not just introverts, have increasing difficulty meeting new people as they get older, and introverts in particular need an extra reason to to be in a social situation. In other words, an introvert needs a pretext to make new friends. For other people, this pretext seems to come naturally, but for introverts, it usually takes some practice.
An Introvert’s Strategies for Meeting New People
Not all introverts are shy, but all introverts are at a disadvantage when it comes to striking up idle conversation. The secret to avoiding a boring conversation that probably won’t lead to making new friends is to find situations with a built-in conversation starter, such as a group extracurricular activity. Alternatively, eliminate the initial awkwardness by meeting people online.
For an introvert having problems meeting new people, it’s important to stop trying unsuccessful friend-making techniques that only cause frustration. College students in a classroom usually aren’t in a friend-making mood because professors are much stricter than high school teachers and college students have to pay tuition for each class. However, if you see many of the same people in your classes each semester and they share your major and seem interesting to you, talk to them after class and find out if they want to study with you. Even though as an introvert, you may prefer studying alone, this pretext gives you an opening to make new friends.
Significantly Increase the Chances of Meeting Like-Minded People
Instead of waiting for the perfect situation to come to you, make it happen by becoming active in extracurricular activities. It may seem like extra work to do on top of studying and paying bills, but the truth is that socializing is work, even for people who love doing it. When you’re around other people who share your interests, you’ll be forced to have interesting conversations with them while doing an activity, whether it’s creative writing, badminton, chess, rock climbing, river rafting or community outreach. All colleges host these kinds of activities and post flyers all over campus advertising them. You can also find out about activities related to your major from your department office or college website.
The next best way for introverts to meet new people is to skip the awkward conversation opener altogether by going online. Some websites have local group meetups, but these events are no different than college extracurricular activities and usually provide less shared interest. For meeting people online, the best websites to use are dating websites. This strategy isn’t for everyone, but on dating websites, everyone is already in a socializing mood and ready to meet people, usually for friends as much as romance.
For introverts, making friends has its own special requirements, but if you understand why introverts need a specific reason to start a conversation, you can use your college’s resources to your advantage. Online meetups have their advantages and disadvantages, and so do in-person activities. To meet new people with a minimal risk of awkwardness, find situations in which a shared interest brings people together.