I Love my N(u)ew Friends!!

^^Actual caption on my Instagram post on that day in high school when you wear your college t-shirt for the day. I posed with my two now best friends as we proudly repped our Northeastern gear in front of our high school.

Katie Wolfendale, CSSH ’23 //

I don’t know about you, but one of the things I was most worried about upon entering college was making friends. I felt confident that I would be able to find peers in classes who I could reach out to if I had a question about an assignment, but who would I call if I wanted to go out exploring or needed someone to watch Netflix with? My first year was also a bit untraditional, as instead of starting at the Boston campus, I would be spending my first semester in Dublin, Ireland as part of the N.U.in program. I worried that this meant that, not only would I have to find friends in Dublin, but I also would have to find friends as I transitioned back to Boston.

I ended up traveling to Dublin with two people who I already knew from high school. This definitely helped to know that I had people who I could at least say hi to, and we ultimately ended up growing super close. However I definitely felt that it would be important to branch out and make friends outside of the people I already knew. As suspected, some of those friends came from classes. A whole group of us had a few classes together, and since we all lived in the same quad on the Dublin campus, our walks to and from class became bonding moments that eventually helped lead to friendships.

While in Ireland, we also had International Coordinators (ICs) who were Northeastern staff who were there to support us in our transition to Dublin and to college, and eventually help us transition back to Northeastern. They had several different programming events throughout the semester, especially in the beginning, that helped us to meet new people or get close to the people who we maybe just considered acquaintances. We did tours of Dublin, traveled to Galway, and a ton of other smaller events, all of which really helped to make us feel like we had known each other our entire lives.

Although I had made friends in Dublin, something that still lingered in the back of mind was that we would soon be returning to Boston. Would I still be best friends with the people I had come to know over the past four months, or would we drift apart once we got thrown into the rush of the Boston campus? With that, let’s get real. Returning to the Boston campus definitely had its challenges. For starters, instead of living less than a minute away from all of my friends, we ended up living in different on-campus housing spaces, and were now a ten minute walk. Of course ten minutes isn’t too bad, but in the middle of February, it’s definitely hard to motivate yourself to run across campus. Additionally, we were quite simply in a bigger atmosphere. Instead of having every class with my friends, I only had a couple of classes with them. In these ways, it felt like we had to go back to square one all over again.

However, these challenges led to some really amazing learning and growing experiences. We learned rather quickly to find ways to spend time together that didn’t always mean one of us would have to make the trek across campus. We spent our time before, during, and in between classes together, sometimes camped out at a table in Argo Tea, a coffee shop in Snell library, or studying at ISEC. This helped us to make sure that, even if we couldn’t run over to each other’s apartment’s every night like we did in Dublin, we were still seeing each other practically every day and keeping in touch. And even though we weren’t all in the same classes anymore, I was able to become friends with new people while still maintaining my other friendships.

Being in Boston also brought a ton of new and exciting opportunities for us. For starters, we were able to really engage with the Northeastern community through different clubs. The first club I became involved in was NUStage, which is a musical theatre company on campus. I ended up being in a show where I knew absolutely nobody, which was definitely intimidating, but was also a really great way to branch out and make friends with people who shared the same passion as I did. Joining NUStage ended up being one of my main communities at Northeastern, and it allowed me to make a new group of friends outside of my core group. 

Another thing I became involved with rather quickly was Fraternity and Sorority Life on campus. I will say that FSL is definitely on campus if it’s something that you are interested in, but it is not necessarily over the top or in your face. My sorority has also been a key community during my time at Northeastern (I have a whole post about it if you want to learn more *wink wink*). Although I did know some of the girls already going into my sorority, this still helped me to expand my communities at NU, and also meet new people who were also involved in FSL across campus and across Boston.

While those were the main ways I made friends throughout my first semester on the Boston campus, I want to highlight that you never really stop making friends at Northeastern. If you’ve had the chance to attend a virtual general Information Session about Northeastern, you probably have heard that Northeastern students are absolutely collaborative and always wanting to connect with and support one another. This means that, if you reach out to someone in your class or in a club, odds are they’ll respond and eagerly want to talk to you! So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there; At Northeastern you’ll most likely be greeted with a friendly face.

If you’re like me and nervous about “finding your people” wherever it is that you go to college, something that really helped me reach out to people was remembering that everyone was in the same boat – Almost no one goes into college with a whole group of best friends. Everyone is trying to adapt and find their place, just as you are! I encourage you to say hi to the person sitting next to you in class, join clubs and organizations that sound fun and interesting to you, and overall just remember that you are not alone!

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