Why Is It So Hard to Make Friends in College?

Written by: Ankita Kathad – MA (Clinical Psychology)
Last updated date : March 23, 2023

College is an important milestone in a person’s life. It is also one of the most memorable times in one’s life. There is a rollercoaster of emotions that one goes through during college. Moreover, friendships that you make during your college years, tend to stay for a longer period. While some are very quick to get up and make friends rapidly. There are many who struggle to establish good friendships. This article discusses why is it so hard to make friends in college?


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Chapter 1:

Why Do We Need Friends in College?

We need friends because they make our lives interesting. They help us in times of need. They share happiness with us and they are there during sad times. Friends help us navigate through highs and lows in college. They also help us understand a situation better when we feel stuck. We try various firsts with our friends. Moreover, friends also add flavor to our lives.

We need friends to help us think clearly in troubled times. Meaningful friendships also act as protective factors from stress. During college, there are various big decisions we need to make in life. Friends help us do that. Therefore it is important to make friends in college. 

Chapter 2:

Why Is It So Hard to Make Friends?

There are many reasons why it is difficult to establish friendships. The college itself is very hard. The decision and process to get there are very hard. It is harder to make friends too. There can be many reasons why it is hard to establish bonds when we reach college. When we enter college, most of us are from different cities and different backgrounds. Additionally, college is like unchartered waters for all of us. Most newbies at the college are confused, nervous, and excited. They are also unknown to most people. There are several other reasons why it’s hard to find acquaintances. Here are some:

You Miss Your Old Friends

It is hard to let go of friends from school. You have known your school friends for many years. Then there are friends from your neighborhood. It is difficult to forget your friends and move on. You may feel that you are betraying your old friends by making new ones. Moreover, it is also hard to forget the good times you’ve shared with your old friends. Therefore when you enter college, there is difficulty in connecting with new people.


You can be shy and hesitant of making new friends in your college. As discussed earlier, college is filled with new people who come from diverse backgrounds. They bring unique experiences with them. There can be initial doubt and dilemmas while talking to new people. You may feel scared to start a conversation. Often you are afraid of what the other person might think of you. Moreover, since the first impression is the last impression, you don’t want to ruin your first impression.

You Find It Difficult to Fit In

There are many types of groups in the college. Some are of your type and some are not. Finding the group that’s right for you involves a lot of trial and error sometimes. Moreover, there is a possibility that you have a personality that people cannot easily understand. In college, peer pressure is a real thing. It can be possible that you are not able to gel up with the groups because your interests don’t match up. There can be many reasons why you cannot fit in. there can be language barriers too in some cases.

You Lack Self-Confidence

You can find difficulty in making friends if you keep doubting yourself. There can be many reasons for low self-confidence. One common reason is low self-esteem. You may have had incidences that lowered your self-esteem. Moreover, past trauma can also lead to low self-esteem. This can make you think that you will embarrass yourselves in front of others and therefore you shouldn’t talk to others.

Not having friends or a friend circle in college can be tough. People can start labeling you as a loner. You may find it difficult to enjoy college activities. Moreover, you can feel lonely and depressed when you see others enjoying yourself with friends. If you are having a tough time making friends at college, here are some steps that help you make connections at college.

Chapter 3:

How to Make Good Connections at College?

College provides many opportunities to make good connections. There are various groups and places where you can find people with similar interests. Here are some ways in which you can find your group!

Step Out!

Get out of your comfort zone. You may feel tempted to stay indoors or miss college because you feel lonely. But the most effective way to find new people is by getting out of the comfort zone. Take the initiative to talk to people. When you are in class, get to know your classmates. You can take the lead and start a conversation with like-minded people.

Join Activity Clubs

You can join a sports club or drama. You can even join a book club. Look for activities you’d enjoy doing such as cultural activities. These activities and clubs offer many opportunities to build new connections. Take the lead and talk to new people during breaks. You can discuss your hobbies and interests. It is a nice idea to ask them for coffee or lunch.


Some people find it hard friends in college. A good option is to try volunteering at college. You can try social service groups or even awareness groups. This is a great way to be active on the college campus and meet new people. A good idea would be to research these activities beforehand so that you can take an informed decision.


Parties are a great way to build a social connection. Here you can meet people from different divisions and streams. This helps you make a diverse circle. Moreover, when you meet people outside the college, you get to know them a little more personally since they’re a bit relaxed outside. Dress up in a fun costume and don’t forget to enjoy. Don’t let the stress of making new friends get the best of you.

Be You!

You may find it hard to make friends at college because you are constantly trying to pretend what you are not. It is completely alright to feel pressured and anxious. You may want to be like others. However, in an attempt to imitate others, you may end up losing your original self. Therefore try to retain your original self. Be confident that people will like you for who you are. Change is a part of college but pretense is not.

Social Media to the Rescue!

Although talking to people face to face is advisable, however, if you are struggling to make friends, try social media. Most youngsters are available on social media platforms. You can join your college’s social media page and join other forums. This way you can get to know your classmates better. However, do not end up talking only on social media. Do meet your online friends in person.

College Events

College events such as cultural night or freshers welcome are always a fun way to meet new people. Try to look up the upcoming event your college is hosting and attend them. You can participate in activities such as dancing or singing. These events provide a good opportunity for ice breakers.

Chapter 4:


Do we really need friends in college? College is a very special period of our lives. It is important to make the best of it. These days are something, most of us remember throughout our lives. Therefore it is good to make as many connections as possible. It is understandable that there are people who find it very hard to make friends at college. If you think low self-esteem is the culprit, do check out Epsychonline for courses on Low self-esteem. Our experts have curated this self-help course, to address issues like low self-worth. There are many articles that help you address your emotional issues.

"Structured and engaging course" Joan

69 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount