Student Advice for Making Friends at College

The Sustainability Stewards at NC State share their advice for fellow students on how to make friends at college.

Get Involved

If you have any interest in sustainability I highly recommend joining the Stewards because you will meet some really cool people, participate in projects that genuinely make a change in our community and network with people that have common interests. I wish I had joined sooner!

Brooke Parrinello, Fashion and Textile Management

If you enjoy playing poker I would recommend joining the poker club. Jared does an amazing job with it and I had loads of fun!

Jameson Hill, Biological and Agricultural Engineering

I participated in the marching band and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to continue playing after high school. I made lots of friends and I feel proud to represent NC State. I also volunteered with the Leopold Wildlife Club to check wood duck boxes at Yates Mill Pond. I would highly recommend it if you have a passion for nature and wildlife.

Charlotte Peele, Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology

Just go explore your passions– the people in those places/clubs will be the kind of people you naturally fall into friendship with

Harrison King, Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Join a club of like minded individuals that makes change happen around campus in real time, like the Sustainability Stewards! It’s incredibly rewarding and incredibly fun. Join clubs! It’s easier to make friends in clubs than it is in class. You have to put yourself out there and try new things and if push comes to shove, just drop the club later.

Kamari Herron, Industrial Engineering

Take the Initiative

Just be yourself. There will always be someone there who likes you for who you are.

Jameson Hill, Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Don’t be afraid to be the first to start a conversation. It may feel awkward at first but everyone is nervous so be the person that reaches out first. I can’t tell you how many friends I made by saying hi to my suitemates first or asking the people passing by if they wanted to join in a volleyball game. It’s a great way to meet people and make connections.

Brooke Parrinello, Fashion and Textile Management

Show up! See an event you’re interested in? Go! Join clubs and intramurals! I know everyone says this but it’s true! My first semester I would text several people at a time and ask if they wanted to eat at the dining hall with me. It was a challenge to reach out but it was worth it to have someone to eat and chat with! You can also ask people if you can sit with them (scary I know), but Fountain Dining Hall  isn’t like your high school cafeteria. Everyone is trying to make friends and meet people, especially the first few weeks.

Charlotte Peele, Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology

Just talk to classmates and peers and try to make connections, try not to stress about finding your people right away, if you let it happen naturally chances are you will be in a better situation.

Jack Voight, Environmental Engineering

Don’t go back to your dorm until your day is over! Study at the library or Talley if you can, just be out and about and be outgoing.

Willamina Ingle, Microbiology

As daunting or cliche as it sounds, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. I made some of my best friends by approaching them at the dining hall and asking if I could sit with them.

Brynn Capuano, Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems

Introduce yourself to the people who sit next to you in class. If you talk to these around you and get their contact info you can help each other study and bond through that! Try to talk to at least two new people a week!

Payton Bell, Environmental Engineering

NC State is where a sustainable Pack of forward-thinkers live, work, study and play. Explore these opportunities by signing up for the e-newsletter. Applications to join the Sustainability Stewards student leadership program are also open for first-year and transfer students through Oct. 22, 2023, at