It’s easy to connect with people about your favorite Netflix series, where you worked in high school, or even why you chose to come to Ohio State. But how do you know when to initiate the more difficult conversations? During my first year at Ohio State, I didn’t know how to naturally get to know people on a deeper level. Coming to college, you have to choose when to be vulnerable and when to ask the difficult questions. Some of these conversations might include missing your friends back home, adjusting to college, or talking about what is really going on in your life.
I’ve always been a little nervous to be the person to initiate conversations. This was especially true when I came to a big college and it seemed like everyone around me was making close friends so much faster and easier than I was in my attempt to make friends. I just assumed that someone else would be more social and willing to befriend me. That’s not always the case, because everyone is at least a little scared to get to know others–even the outgoing kids! During my first year, I had to keep reminding myself that many freshmen were experiencing similar feelings.
So, where do you go from there? I know it can be intimidating, but stepping out of your comfort zone to initiate these conversations can be really crucial. Here are a few questions to think about or pose to your peers if you’re wanting to take your friendships deeper:
- What has been the most surprising thing about your first year on campus?
- What is something you’re excited for this year that you haven’t experienced yet?
- Is there anything you’d like to do in Columbus or at Ohio State that you haven’t done yet?
There is so much power in being a consistent friend, and that could include sitting by the same people in class, attending a student organization meeting, or just hanging out with the people on your floor. All of these situations are opportunities to push through the wall of small talk.
I think it comes down to this: we all desire to be known and accepted by others. Our lives also become more meaningful when we know others on a deeper level. Whether you’re an upperclass student or new to campus, we never reach a point of having “enough” friends. All of the FYE Peer Leaders especially are upperclass students who are available and willing to talk if you’d like! Feel free to reach out to one of us for other tips on how to build deeper friendships.