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skateangel's avatar

Is it harder to make friends in Community College?

Asked by skateangel (298 points ) June 13th, 2012

I’m really in need of friends (or at least acquaintances) since I don’t have any and I was wondering if you guys think it’d be too hard to make friends at community college? I did go there a few semesters ago but ended up not making any, since they all had their own friends they’ve known since high school, and their own lives, etc. Which made me more lonely and depressed:( It seems like it’s much easier making connections with people in high school or a university where you’re basically forced to be in contact with each other. but I made the mistake of not going to high school so I don’t have anyone because of that:( I’m also definitely not the kind of strong person who can walk up to someone and start a conversation, cause of my social anxiety so it seems pretty hopeless for me:/ Can anyone give me some help on this problem? Thanks

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14 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

Yes, it might be harder to make friends at a community college as opposed to high school or a “regular” college or university because it is going to be a less homogenous group. People are more likely to vary by age and circumstance. But you should still be able to find people who share your interests. You are more likely to find friends taking classes at at community college than you would be just wandering around, looking for people to hook up with and make friends with.

Just try to be friendly with the people who seem friendly and might be receptive. I don’t know what else to tell you.

bookish1's avatar

Are there cafes or bars in the neighborhood/town where your CC is located? It might pay to pick one and become a regular there. I have social anxiety myself and I have made a number of friends at my local bar. I am a grad student at a big state university in a new town, and it is pretty hard to randomly make friends in my situation too.

skateangel's avatar

@bookish1 There aren’t really any that I know of…I guess my problem has gotten so bad
that even being around people is making me really nervous and depressed, and I’d just spend
the whole time being scared of them coming up and talking to me. Not many people wanna be around someone like that:/

bookish1's avatar

@skateangel: I know very well how it feels to be shy and depressed in a group of people, fearful that anyone might speak to you. I spent much of the past two years in such a state.

If you have the desire and willingness to make friends, you can change yourself bit by bit. It won’t be overnight. Gradually reprogram yourself, as it were. I do this with myself in regards to depression and negative self-talk. And it is a constant process. Treat yourself like a shy but beloved pet, perhaps. Each time you go out around people, spend a bit longer each time. You don’t even have to talk with people who seem like “friend material” at first. Just train yourself to be able to smile and say a few words to people. (“Morning, how you doing?”) Give yourself a reward (like a soda or a candy bar) for a job well done if you can, even just for having a brief conversation with a cashier or someone on the bus. You’re the only one that can do this for yourself. Good luck!

janbb's avatar

I work at a community college and I do think it can be harder for the reasons you state. However, I do see people in the library “studying” together and socializing between classes all the time. Maybe if there is someone you find attractive as a friend in your class, can ask them if they would like to study together for an exam or work on a project together in the library. That may be a more easy way to make a friend than a purely social approach.

DaphneT's avatar

Consider where your interests lie and join a group that promotes those interests. When you go to the group’s activities, introduce yourself to the one in charge of the activity and volunteer your services to help at the activity or at future activities. You may have to ask who’s coordinating the activity to find out. Just smile and say hi, I’m so-and-so, and as the scenario warrants you ask why the other person is at the event, or if they are a coordinator of the event or do they know who is. Let things develop from there.
You could also use the exercise/recreational facilities at the school or in town and just smile and say hi to people when you walk in, ask for advice about a piece of equipment, etc. Depending on the scenario, you introduce yourself, say that your exploring and would like to learn more about whatever the item/topic is, and go from there
A golden rule to conversation is to never sound like you know it all, even if you might. Three subsidiary rules are: ask leading questions – never yes or no questions, make eye contact to show your listening to that person attentively and to be sincere in your tone.

You’ll find some people you just click with, some you won’t, but persevere and you’ll find one or two people to be friends with, at least friendly with.

CWOTUS's avatar

Sometimes those of us who ask (or may have asked) these kinds of questions feel like we’re the only ones in the world so afflicted. Like @bookish1, only not so recently, I was like this, too.

In addition to his good advice, there’s more that you can do, and it’s even simpler. Just learn to smile (however small, however fleeting) and say, “Hi,” or the equivalent, to people that you meet in passing.

You would not believe the number of very intelligent people I see every day at my work place (a lot of engineers here, not social butterflies!) who walk with their heads down, eyes averted, trying so hard to avoid eye contact…

Don’t be one of those people. Just make eye contact and say hello. You’ll get better at it with practice, and in no time at all you can move on (I’m not joking) to talking about the weather, last night’s ballgame, what’s happening in the Math department… whatever.

You can do this. It’s not an overnight process to be the life of the party, but you can break out of the rut you’re in. Baby steps.

“Hi.”

JLeslie's avatar

Yes. Living on campus is the biggest difference. Living in a dorm makes it easy to make bunches of friends.

I met a few friends in community college, and one has been my friend now for over 25 years. I recommend eating lunch on campus. During lunch people are relaxed and chatty. Plus, like in any situation; college, moving to a new neighborhood, new work place; you can’t wait for other people to make the move to be friends, you need to introduce yourself. If you see someone in the caf that is in one of your classes that can be a good ice breaker. Or, in class you can ask some classmates to study together for a test and meet up somewhere or ask them over to your place.

jca's avatar

I think the hard thing about community college or going to a regular college/university and being a commuter is just not being with the group for long periods of time. When you’re leaving campus after class, not studying with the group or eating with the group, then yes, it’s more difficult. If you’re in class and have a paper or test coming up, ask a classmate about it and maybe you’ll find someone that you can do a one on one trip to the coffee shop with, and maybe it will help you with your anxiety and shyness issues.

chyna's avatar

I went to a community college and found a way to make friends was to go to my class about 15 minutes early. Usually someone else from my class was there also. I would just strike up a conversation with that person or persons, discuss the class or the teacher and establish a common ground. This usually led to a study group, a lunch together or meeting in the library.

reijinni's avatar

It is somewhat hard, but considering that some of the people that were with me in community college are the same people that were with me in high school, which made it easier. Again, like some of the other responses, find people that share your interests and classes.

creative1's avatar

I would say yes since there isn’t alot of people who are away from home and away from their friends at community college vs university. But why not consider joining one of the different clubs or groups (such as a study group) they offer at the community college?? However making new friends would still depend on you getting yourself out of your comfort zone and start talking with people. Believe it or not just a simple “Hi” can start off a conversation. I do have to say that you can do this, it will be hard at first to get the courage to begin the conversation but it gets easier to do the more you do it.

digitalimpression's avatar

There’s no need to strike up a friendship out of the blue with a conversation. Not everyone can do that sort of thing. It would probably be helpful to get involved in some of the clubs they have at most community colleges. Find one that suits your fancy and simply participate… the rest will fall into place.

annewilliams5's avatar

There were a lot of good ideas. The group idea is a good one, because not only are you developing communication skills, usually you are also doing projects that are good for the community.

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