How to make friends in college: Advice from the DCTC campus community

Published on: August 25, 2023

Filled Under: Announcements

Views: 943

Making friends in college will help you feel more connected to campus, have more fun, and get the most out of your educational experience, but it can be hard to know where to start when trying to meet new people.

We asked our campus community what advice and resources they have for incoming students about making friends in college. Check out what they shared!


What advice or resources do you have for students about how to make friends in college?


Start with people you know have similar interests-in your program! And if you already have a group of friends, invite someone new to join!


Leah Greuel

Architectural Technology Instructor



Step outside of your comfort zone! If you are in a class sitting next to someone you don’t know, take the time to introduce yourself. Building a network of friends in all of your classes will help you be more successful and you will also feel more connected to the college.


 Jodi Osborn

Dean of Business, Design, Health, and Education



Don’t be afraid to say hi and introduce yourself to new faces especially in your classes. Feel the fear, and do it anyway. Most likely, students in your class may be shy and are just waiting for someone to approach them, so make the first move. If you are overthinking of how to start a conversation, asking about homework is usually an ice breaker.


Also, be involved! Attending DCTC clubs and events is a great way to mingle with fellow students. These friendships you build inside and outside of class will be your network of support that will help you get through coursework struggles and your network of professional connections once you graduate.


Ashley Sarne

Student Life Intern

DCTC Software Development Graduate



Join a student club! Preferably one that matches your interests.


Erin Manthey

Math Instructor



Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to someone new in your program. You never know how much you might have in common!


Meri Kosman

Veterinary Technology Instructor



If you can spare some time each week, I recommend becoming a student worker or joining student senate, they pay in friendships as well as money. If free time to make friends needs to be maximized, join a club or attend club events when possible, and speak to the club organizers to express that you’re looking to connect, we have a great community at DCTC!


Alexis Nordling

Student Senate Vice President & Student Ambassador

Medical Coding Student



My mom used to say, “show up” and I find that to be true in friendships. Whether it’s meeting others as part of an activity/class, offering to go out for tea to chat or being present to support a friend, showing up is how you both make friends and continue relationships. (Even showing up on Zoom counts if you can’t in person!) Show up. Your face really matters!


Melissa Fletcher

Director of Educational Access and Disability Resources



Read or listen to the book How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.


Kyle Forgette

Biology Instructor



Get involved in student clubs and organizations! The Student Ambassador organization is a great team to become part of as you have opportunity to not only get to know fellow students in unique and meaningful ways but also employees depending on your responsibilities.


If you excel in a subject and like to help people, consider being a peer tutor.


Anne Johnson

Vice President of Student Affairs



Always connect with other students knowing you are on the same mission. You just might realize you have a shared values that sets the foundation for future opportunities in your career or life.


Branko Tambah

Technical Management and Individualized Studies Graduate



For those on campus, join clubs, participate in student life/college events, and network with those in your classes whether they are in your program or not.


For those online, don’t be afraid to reach out to classmates through D2L when you have questions or when you want to connect with others. Also, still feel free to come to campus for events!


Michaela Holman-Schmidt,

Administrative Assistant

Accounting & Individualized Studies Graduate



The simplest advice I can give is show up to events; Clubs, Student Life, Campus Events, etc. To ever meet people you have to be where they are. People won’t come to where you are, you have to put yourself out there and meet them halfway.


Bailey Humphries-Gustafson,

Lead Student Ambassador & AutoCAD Peer Tutor

Architectural Technology Student



The transition from high school to college can be challenging but it doesn’t have to be. First, I think it’s important to acknowledge that you’re transitioning into the adult phase of your life where building new relationships is important. Those networking opportunities will eventually support your career goals. There is no one way to make friends in college. But engaging with your classmates is a great start especially for team and group projects. There is no better place to meet friends than the Student Life Center and the many events they host. Make sure to attend as many campus events as possible and enjoy lunch with other students and staff. Anna, Nicole and the student ambassadors in Student Life are amazing resources.


Embrace diversity and join the Multicultural Student Leadership Association. There are several opportunities to volunteer on campus. The Student Life Center also hosts ‘Game Days.’ What better way to have a friendly competition and meet others in between your classes than playing a game of billiards for free.


In conclusion, be open-minded, accepting and remember, the network you build now is beneficial to your future aspirations.


Israel Gray

Information Systems Management Graduate



Sit by someone in class and get to know them! I sat by someone I didn’t know in every class my first semester of college, and I am still good friends with two of them to this day (10 years later)!

Kirstin Nelson

Transfer Coordinator



The best advice I can give for making new friends is a Bible verse that says “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24, KJV)


Anonymous Student



Wear something that could be a conversation starter for finding a friend (e.g., a shirt for your favorite band, a hat for your favorite sports team, a bracelet/pin identifying a cause you care about or group you identify in. I wear an “Embrace Neurodiversity” bracelet in hopes it will help people who identify as Neurodivergent know they can talk about Neurodiversity with me. If you happen to wear something related to the NFL or country music, you can bet I will ask you about it (Go Pack!). 🙂

Watch the How to Start Conversations and Make Friends on-demand webinar and request a free copy of the book “How to Start Conversations and Make Friends,” by Don Gabor through Student Life. Starting conversations and keeping them going does not come naturally to me, and I learned great tips I use every day from Don Gabor’s book and webinar!

Attend student activities of interest to you on the DCTC Events Calendar to connect with others with common interests. Don’t see an activity you are interested in? Email me at to let me know what types of campus activities you would like to see so we can plan them!

Anna Voight

Associate Director of Student Life

Executive Assistant Graduate




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