Remember that trying to make new friends does not make you lame, desperate, or needy. Everyone can benefit from social connection, but making those connections can take work, and the process can be uncertain! So, if you want a social life, you must make it happen for yourself and accept that it will take time, effort, and patience.
Find some potential new friends! You can start with people you already know (acquaintances who have shown interest in being your friend but you’ve never had time to hang out with them), or you can go out and meet new people. To meet new people, you may need to force yourself out of your normal routine to make meeting new people a priority. A few good places to meet new people include your workplace, churches or other religious organizations, clubs, sporting events, art classes, volunteer work, karaoke, trivia night, music or art festivals, and even farmer’s markets.
The next step is to make plans to do something with them! Get their contact information and come up with something to do. You don’t need to obsess over making the plan original or exciting, just plan something where you can spend time getting to know them better. If you’re the one inviting them to the activity, be sure to take the lead in planning the details.
The last step is to gradually take the relationship to the next level by hanging out on a regular basis, spending one-on-one time talking, expanding the range of topics you talk about, and being there for them through difficult times. Before you know it, you’ll have a deep, lasting friendship.
Apart from making new friends, another way to expand your social support network is to attend networking events!
Another great way to increase your support system is by going to a professor’s office hours!