The Clog’s guide to making friends online

Illustration of friends talking over video chat
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Whether you’re an incoming freshman, transfer student or a part of the class of 2024 who spent their entire first year online, chances are you don’t have many close friends heading to Berkeley with you this fall. Thankfully, the internet has made it possible for us to connect with people all over the world. However, while connecting with people is easier online, making genuine friends is much more difficult. Here at the Clog, we’ve curated a guide to help you on your journey of making friends at UC Berkeley from the comfort of your own home.

Join online community spaces

There are many social media platforms and messaging apps at our disposal which means that there are various ways to connect with fellow students. From class-specific Facebook pages and group chats to the UC Berkeley Discord and Reddit, you can find thousands of students and are bound to hit it off with at least one!

Reach out to as many people as possible

After joining as many online spaces as you can, you might think to yourself, “Now what?” Well, now it’s time to put in the work! Don’t be afraid to direct message anybody whom you think is cool or share similarities with. All you have to do is greet them and introduce yourself while you wait for an extraordinary friendship to blossom.

Become more active on social media

Is the last approach is a little bit too forward for you? Instead, try to get those DMs heading your way by following more UC Berkeley students on social media and showcasing more of your great personality online. Hopefully, other people will notice how cool you are and private message you.

Improve your texting skills

Once you’re in the inbox of an online acquaintance, texting etiquette is the next step. In theory, texting shouldn’t be that difficult, yet a conversation can completely go south with one wrong emoji. When texting, try to match the energy of the other person to avoid miscommunication. Also, don’t forget to respond to their messages in a timely manner! 

Ask open-ended questions

It’s really easy for a conversation through text to die, never to be revived again. After introductory questions such as, “What’s your major?” and “Where are you from?” many find themselves stuck on how to elevate the conversation. When you find yourself in this predicament, follow up these basic questions with open-ended ones such as, “Why did you choose that major?” and “How do you feel about going to UC Berkeley?” Not only does this keep the conversation going, but you learn more about the person.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t instantly click with them

True friendship can’t be made in a day, and not everybody is made to be good friends! Sometimes it will take a few weeks — or maybe even longer — of messaging and phone calls to form a genuine friendship. If it takes much longer or doesn’t work out, at least you can say that you stepped out of your comfort zone and met somebody new. 

Remember to be cautious when you talk to people on the internet but also remain open-minded. You never know who might just be your new BFF. That being said, I wish you good luck on your online friendship journey and hope that you meet some great people that you can link up with this fall. 

Contact Zara Koroma at [email protected].