College during a pandemic is something few have had to navigate. For some, it was difficult to make meaningful connections with others in an almost completely digital world. The desire to go out was decreased because chronically socially anxious people had a valid reason to stay inside; the world was, and still might be, ending. 

This pessimistic view is carrying over to some people’s lives even after the vaccine was rolled out. People have created a new routine and many are trying to remember how to live in the world of reality. 

You can no longer just text someone while you lay in bed, and gone are the days of Zooming into class while you pretend to pay attention.

 So why do some people feel apprehensive or even just confused about how to re-enter the world? It may come from a place of fear, social anxiety, or just COVID messing with people’s sense of reality. One thing is for sure, though-- things are looking up and you can go out and make friends again. Here are four fool proof ways to go out and make friends at college post pandemic. 

Talk to people in your classes. 

There are plenty of people who feel the exact same way as you and want to make friends. Sometimes you just have to make the first move. Forgot how to introduce yourself? It’s easy; either talk about how you didn’t know there was homework or just start with your name and ask for their’s. Maybe everyone already knew this, but for some people this can be difficult! 

2.   Go out when asked. 

It’s easy to say you have homework or that you’re tired and just want to stay in. Sometimes that’s true, and when it is you should definitely get some rest. But, make sure to ask yourself if you’re only staying in because you feel like not socializing. 

3. Step out of your comfort zone. 

Each time you step out of your comfort zone you start to normalize that behavior for yourself. It’s a great way to start to feel comfortable with putting yourself out into the world and to stop normalizing the mundane. It’s not enough to just step outside your box once and be proud of yourself; you have to continually push yourself to get used to that new feeling. It gets easier each time, but those first couple times are often the most difficult. Know that it will get easier. 

4. Decrease your screen time.

Everyone can benefit from decreasing their screen time on their phone and, for many people, this sky-rocketed during the pandemic. I know mine did. It’s important to remember that the devices we have at our disposal can be used for a greater, more productive good, but can also be damaging to our perception of reality. Decreasing your screen time forces you to go out into the real world and socialize with others, and can be a fantastic way to step out of your comfort zone. Sometimes, one step is all it takes. 

Making friends can be difficult especially after a year as tumultuous as the last, try to put yourself out there and avoid going back into the world of your bedroom by getting involved, going out and meeting as many people as you can. 

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