Sunday, February 19, 2017

10 Ways to Make Friends as a Freshman

Alberta Craighead, Amber Durr, Emily Lawrence, Evie Raley, Stephanie Gaines

1.) Be Prosocial
A study that focuses on the relationship between knowledge of appropriate strategies for making friends and peer acceptance, concluded that one of the biggest indicators of peer acceptance is exhibiting prosocial behavior.  When you think of a good friend you will typically think of someone who is prosocial, or in other words, someone who is honest, trustworthy, generous, and will keep their promises.  When trying to make new, close friendships with people at school, keep these qualities in mind!

2.) Be Confident in Yourself
People often tend to avoid people who seem lonely.  Pertaining to this point, there is a great deal of evidence that connects people with low-self esteem to greater loneliness.  So if your goal is to make friends, have confidence in yourself!  Giving off a good vibe will cause others to want to be around you.  

3.) Look to Others When You Are Stressed
All people have a need to be with others, and there are certain times that the need for affiliation may be stronger. Communal coping, or relating to others in stressful times such as is when you are feeling nervous before a big exam or moving in freshman year, is not only helpful for dealing with stress, but has also been found to be very important in forming close relationships. During stressful times like these, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and experience these emotions with others. They are likely also searching for someone to share their feelings with.

4.) Keep Your Door Open
Going to college introduces students to brand new environments with lots of new people. Joining a group of friends can be extremely beneficial to developing an understanding of who you are. One easy way to join a group is through keeping your door open in your residence hall. Balance theory states that people are more likely to be attracted to and make friends with people who live in the same dorm or are in their same classes. You tend to like these people more because you are in a similar proximity to them. One way to know the people you live near is to keep your door open to your room, so that you can meet and make friends with these people who live in close proximity to you. By opening your door (and yourself) up to people in your dorm, you will be able to make new friends in no time!

5.) Hang Out on Campus
When college starts everyone is nervous and just wanting to fit in. Many people once they are comfortable with something they don't want to branch out and explore new things. As the Mere Exposure Effect states people have a preference for people or things because they are simply familiar. It’s hard for people to want to come out of their shell and want to meet new people or do new things so they tend to just do what they are familiar with and hang out with the people they already know or feel comfortable with. A study done by Christopher Langston and Nancy Cantor, they stated that just being on campus where you can be seen leads to making new friends!

6.) Meet New People at Different Events  
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When school starts there are a lot of different types of events going on and throughout the school year there are different sport games that you can attend and will help you make friends. Just by going out and interacting with new people at events will lead to making new friends. A study done by, David Jamieson, John Lydon, and Mark Zanna, found that getting involved in different groups within your values and getting to know people that are similar to you in the way you prioritize your life will lead to more friendships.  

7.) Get a Head Start
Getting a head start is a saying that you hear numerous times throughout your childhood. No one wants to admit to being a procrastinator, but when it comes to college, getting a head start is a solution to many different things, including making new friends. Many colleges offer activities and programs to engage in before your freshman year begins. Also, Facebook and other social media sites tend to have pages that students follow, allowing you to communicate with your future classmates or potential college friends. It’s been shown in studies that even when you can’t physically see someone, you still feel a connection with them through communication (Sheerman, 2013). Making new friends, especially when you’re entering an environment that is completely new to you is definitely a scary thing to do, so come out of your comfort zone a little and you should have luck in finding the perfect friends for you.

8.) Blend in, but Be You
People tell you numerous times to just relax and be yourself when put in new and uncomfortable situations, right? But who’s to say that you can’t conform maybe just a little? Ever notice how when you smile at someone, they tend to smile back? It is okay and actually proven that when you mimic people's’ actions, they tend to like you more (Heerink, 2009). Don’t be afraid to follow the crowd sometimes, but make sure not to lose yourself in the process.

9.) Make Yourself Approachable
The more approachable you seem, the more likely people are to come up to you and that may lead to a new friendship and/or relationship. Put your phone down, smile, and make connections with people. As mobile phone technology becomes more advanced, so too does its presence in everyday life. Students are using their mobile phones in classroom settings, a practice that holds both potential advantages and disadvantages. In group settings, phone presence may affect the group dynamic and how people are viewed in those settings.A discursive psychological analysis focused on instances of interaction in which a group member picked up his or her mobile phone in the middle of a working session and how the accountability for the phone use was managed by either the phone user or a fellow group member. Be approachable and put down the phone!

10.) Strike Up a Conversation Any Chance You Get

In any setting where it is appropriate to do so, start a conversation with the person next to you. Whether you are waiting for class to start, standing in line at the cafeteria, or standing in the elevator, you should take every opportunity possible to talk to other people…..even if you don’t necessarily know them. A model explaining how the motive to achieve and the motive to avoid failure influences behavior assumes strength of motivation as being a multiplicative function of motive, expectancy, and incentive. This accounts for level of aspiration and also performance level when only one task is presented. 2 theoretical implications are "that performance level should be greatest when there is greatest uncertainty about outcome" and “people with strong motive to achieve should prefer immediate risk whereas those with strong motive to avoid failure will prefer easy tasks or extremely difficult and risky tasks”. Of course, you are not going to make friends with every single person you meet or talk to, but the more that you interact, the more likely you are to find a handful of people who will turn into good friends.

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