As the 2018-2019 school year starts to come to a close, so does the chance to make new friends on campus. Personally, my parents always ask upon my return home “Did you make any new friends this quarter?” While students may have many ideas for how to make new friends (NU Match, NU Nemesis, A&O concerts), even our teachers who interact with us everyday have opinions on our abilities to make new friends. Below, I interviewed four professors on the best ways to make friends with only six weeks left of Spring Quarter.
Christina Normore, Art History Professor
“Based on my personal experience in college, I highly recommend having a roommate you really don't like. If you have to do all your studying, hanging out, etc. in common spaces, you will start to meet people quickly.”
“If you are unfortunate enough to have great roommates, I think finding activities that you are interested in and pursuing them will let you meet people with whom you have something in common. It is also worth saying that it takes two side to make friends, so if you are someone with a lot of friends and a new person shows up at your club or some other activity, reaching out to them and helping them to feel welcome is important – maybe the two of you will be friends or maybe they will end up being friends with someone else instead. But either way, it can make a really big difference in someone else's life and is easy to do, so why not?”
Owen Youngman, Medill Professor
“I see it happen occasionally in my classes because I generally enroll students from multiple parts of Northwestern in all my undergraduate courses. One idea: trying to sit next to different people in different parts of the room as the quarter progresses. It’s not all that common, but it can cause new conversations in the few idle minutes before class starts.”
“Three years ago, I had an engineering student in McCormick tell me that, after hearing the journalism students in our class answer questions, he decided to do this for the rest of the quarter in order to meet them all – and I know that he actually wound up visiting some of his new friends over the summer. Overseas, in fact.”
John Fecile, Medill Professor
“Making friends, huh? Here's my advice. Go to events on campus and in the city that interest you. Concerts, art shows. Or join a group – an improv club, a dance class, The Satanic Temple, whatever. Strike up conversations with people you meet, people who share your interests. That can be awkward, yeah, but awkward is good sometimes.”
“I think it's a two-way street. You have to be willing to reach out to people if you want to make friends. But you also have to be open to other people reaching out to you.”
John Marks, English Professor
“I would think that most groups and student organizations would be having their year-end events, where they might be hoping for a bigger crowd and would certainly be thinking about the year ahead. This could be a good opportunity to show interest in a new student group and meet some new people with common interests.”
So, there we have it. According to professors, the key to a friend-filled final quarter is a new seat, new activities or even The Satanic Temple!