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How to Make Friends at College
I've already covered how to survive your first week in a college dorm room, so I though now I'd cover how to make friends once you're settle in.
First impressions are everything, which is why you want to set aside some money before the school year starts to buy yourself some new clothes. Remember, you're at college now, so you can reinvent yourself if you aren't comfortable with the way you dressed in high school. Just be yourself.
Your wardrobe changes
Don't dress too drab, and don't dress too preppy if that's not the social group you plan to hang around. I suggest dressing a little better than the standard, which is often just a t-shirt and sweatpants. That means actual pants and a decent shirt, be it a polo or a button down dress shirt. Don't tuck in any shirt unless it's a formal occasion. That means only buy dress shirts that don't cover your butt, because if they do they are meant to be tucked in.
Pants. You'll need some. A couple pairs of jeans and a couple pairs of chinos should be fine. Go with different colors for each, but nothing too wild. Avoid those jeans with the fake pre-worn bleached out areas that really stand out. Pants should be subtle.
Wear a belt at all times. Belts are classy. Buy two belts. One should be black, the other brown. Both should be leather.
Only wear white socks at the gym. Wear socks to match your pants the rest of the time, or some decent argyle socks in subtle colors like black, gray, and blue.
Only wear sneakers at the gym. Get a nice pair of brown shoes/boots. Timberlands are fine, or a nice leather desert boot (look it up). They look great with jeans as well, unlike your sneakers, which make you look like a character from Seinfeld.
Now that we're done with all the superficial stuff, let's work on the social skills. There are many places to meet people on a college campus. My favorite spot is where everyone is going to have to go at some point: the dining hall. Go with a buddy or two (your roommate, perhaps?) and find a small group of people and ask if you can sit with them. This works better when the dining hall is crowded so you don't seem like a creep. Talk to them, ask them questions, find out where they're from and what they're studying. Casually suggest an activity involving everyone, like watching a TV program together (this is where the conversation you had with them is helpful, what TV shows or sports do they like?) or playing video games. If you're talking to girls, don't suggest playing Call of Duty 2 or a Warcraft LAN party. Women tend to like old school games like Mario Kart. More about that below...
What you need in your dorm room when having guests over
Here are some things you should always have in your dorm room when you plan on having company:
- A TV. You and your roommates should work out a way to split the cost of a big screen LCD, but you should at least have a decent TV in your room even if your roommates are cheap.
- Multiple video game systems. You don't need all the newer generation systems, but here are some things you should know: women love Wii more than Xbox 360 or PS3 and they also love old school systems like N64 (with Mario Kart) and NES (particularly Duck Hunt). Remember, if you've got NES and Duck Hunt, you will need an older TV to play it.
- Snacks and beverages. Just order a couple pizzas with your roommates and some soda. Also, if you or your roommate happen to be over 21 (I won't ask how that happens), there are certain other beverages college students seem to enjoy.
- Movies. Lots of them. Buy a spindle of DVDs and talk to the nerdy computer guy on your floor about the rest of the details.
- Furniture to sit on. If you don't have enough, grab some from the lounge on the floor above or below you during the early morning hours when nobody is around. You might have to use the stairs to do this, but you never ever steal from your own floor's lounge. Buy a sofa cover so people don't have to see the mysterious stains they're sitting on.
Turning dorm party guests into friends
Make sure to talk to everyone who comes to your little dorm room parties and get everyone's number, male or female. This way you'll have people you can call and go out with on the weekends when your roommates aren't around.