Quite Frankly

Hi Frankie, 

How do I expand my friend group outside my dorm? 

xoxo, 

Lonely Boy

Dear Boy,

Quite frankly, going beyond the ready-made friend group of those in dwelling places adjacent to yours is pretty hard. I mean, probably for most of your life you’ve been friends with people for the simple reason that they spend much of their time in close proximity to the places where you spend much of your time. There’s nothing wrong with that (although branching out is always a good thing).

Procedurally, I recommend starting small: Be cordial to people you don’t know in your everyday interactions. I know the academic year is, at this point, well underway, but I’m sure there are people in your classes who you haven’t yet become acquainted with outside a classroom setting. Channeling whatever extroverted tendencies you can muster to engage in a dialogue at the beginning or end of class could lead in the direction of friendship.

The other easy way to make friends on campus (if such a method exists) is to get involved in org culture. While Vassar is home to people who don’t really do orgs, there’s a broad swath of us whom you can befriend merely by engaging in common pursuits. Take the Misc, for example—if you get involved, that’s an automatic gain of more than 50 potential friends (we don’t bite). Some orgs, although I’m less intimately familiar with their structures, also seek to bring like-minded folks together. Other orgs focus on shared identity as a point of connection, and often serve as a space for community and support. Still other orgs are centered around specific activities, events or pastimes, so you can befriend others while you further the specific mission of the org. It’s usually easier to get to know people when you’re working together (at least in my experience).

If you’re looking to expand your friend group, the simplest course of action is to join an existing coalition of folks, and then network with potential acquaintances that way. Odds are, you can go to an org meeting and find one person you jive with; that one person probably has other friends you can meet. Repeat the process, and you’ll find your social circle growing exponentially—or logarithmically, since Vassar has a carrying capacity for students (and you probably have a carrying capacity for friends).

Best Wishes,

Frankie 

P.S. Yes, it does kinda suck that you have to join an org to meet people around here. Or maybe that’s just me?

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