There is always a pamphlet or website somewhere that tells you what to pack for your new dorm room, but sadly, there is no instruction manual for how to say goodbye to your hometown friends. Sigh, those final hugs and promises to FaceTime everyday must have been hard, but now, whether you’re facing the beautiful and spirited jungle that is Penn State for the first time or returning for another crazy year, you are faced with an even harder challenge – making new friends.
Back in Girl Scouts they told you that “one was silver and the other was gold,” but what if you’re not good at being a gold digger? Never fear, we got your digging tools right here with a few of Valley‘s simple and quirky ways of making some new friends. After all, sitting in your dark room surrounded by Cheetos and Netflix is bound to get lonely at some point.
Fangirl in public
Come on, we may be 18, 19 or 20 years old, but we’re all closeted ‘Directoners’ or still listening to the Jonas Brothers or sitting and speculating over Erza now being ‘A’.
It’s no secret that everyone has some sort of embarrassing and half-secret guilty pleasure, and those that cry the same tears as you do are definitely worthy of new friendship. So, try fangirling in public.
Accidentally leave your headphones out while playing Austin Mahone’s new song, or don’t be afraid to bring up the latest episode of Teen Mom to the person in line in front of you at Starbucks. After all, girls who fangirl together stick together.
Become a random dinner guest
Be sure to have your nicest clothes on the top pile of your dresser, because going to dinner on campus is an actual social event.
Upon entering the commons, a Mean Girls inspired montage may flash before your eyes, as you see groups and groups of people, tray in hand, trying to find the coolest table to sit at for long periods of time to not only eat, but the socialize before being condemned to nights of homework (or partying, if they’re the cool kids).
If you happen to be riding solo to one of Pollock or West’s nightly dinner parties, never fear. Try taking a seat at a random table where you see someone else’s stuff. Maybe they’ll be creeped out, or maybe they’ll invite you to join if you act all oblivious about it. Also, introducing yourself and asking to sit with nice looking people is always a viable option. Bonding over campus French fries is almost instant friendship.
Everyone needs a study buddy
On a more serious note, the first few weeks of classes are the trial period of making or breaking potential friends or study partners. Especially if you’re just starting out, classes can be tough, and missing one can even be detrimental to your grade.
Tracking down a responsible-looking potential friend in class may be the key to lonely dorm nights and the pathway to an A all at the same time. You could even try accidentally throwing a pen at them so they turn around, or just introducing yourself like a normal person. Either way, asking someone to be your partner and exchanging numbers/e-mails is an extremely common thing and not socially awkward at all, so don’t be afraid to speak up, or throw pens at people if that’s your thing.