How to make new friends in your classes

Brian Ly/File
Brian Ly/File
Brian Ly/File

College is hard. But what’s college without friends? You’ve finally made it through your first week of classes here at Cal, and you can’t help but wonder how in the world you’ll ever have time to make the friendships that’ll last a lifetime. You don’t have time for clubs, so that’s out, and the party scene isn’t your thing. All that’s left are giant lecture halls seating 800 people, your 20-person discussion section and your GSIs, we suppose. So, whether you’re seriously on the prowl for your new BFF or merely hoping to stumble upon a group of buds to mooch off of for the next few months (or years), we at the Clog have you covered.

“Turn to the person next to you and…”

Here at Cal, you’re almost always going to have that one class where the professor asks you to “turn to the person next to you” and discuss a question posed or complete a certain activity. Rather than actually following specific directions, utilize this time the professor has given you to strike up a real conversation, compliment your neighbor’s shoes or backpack and wow them with your irresistible charm. Sure, you might miss out on learning something important, but you may just find your new best bud instead.

Choose the seat right next to the one person in an otherwise empty row during lecture

Weird? Yes. Uncomfortable? Check. But that’s what makes this work. The immediate physical closeness to your unsuspecting new partner-in-crime will be far too much for them to ignore, and they’ll pretty much have to strike up a conversation with you. Whether or not that conversation begins with “Why did you sit so close to me?” is unbeknownst to us, but if you roll with the punches, you could may just end up finding the Simon to your Garfunkel.

Go to office hours

No, we’re not your professors or GSIs (who have probably uttered this command to you several times over the past week and a half). But, we do know a thing or two about finding friends during office hours – also known as other people most likely struggling to grasp the same concepts from lecture as you. Head to office hours, and you’ll not only get academic help in order to hopefully boost your final grade, but you’ll also find friends to pull all-nighters with and cry with over your midterm.

Spam your classmates on bCourses discussions

If semi-anonymity and making friends over the internet is more your thing, bCourses is the way to go. Leave some nice comments on your classmates’ section-switch request posts (maybe even offer to switch with them for guaranteed friendship), or answer your classmates’ questions they have about the readings. Be warned, though. Your professor may see your spam and assume you’re somewhat of a saboteur. Although you may no longer be guaranteed an A in the class after pulling these shenanigans, at least you’ll (hopefully) find friendship in return.

We at the Clog wish you luck on your journey towards eternal friendship. Sure, your friends may only last 16 weeks and then immediately disappear after finals end, but hey, maybe you’ll end up taking the same classes as them during the rest of your time here and end up with your (college) life-long friend.


Contact Chloe Lelchuk at [email protected].