What are some tips on making friends while living in the dorms?

October 14, 2016

I live in unit 1 and even though we’ve been in school almost a month, I still haven’t made any friends. I thought living in the dorms would give me a better chance to meet people but it is harder than I thought. What are some tips on making friends while living in the dorms?

Well hi there! Coming into college could definitely be nerve-racking at first. Socializing comes easy for some, and might take a little warming up to for others. This is perfectly normal! Don’t worry about how much time has passed. Just because we are one month into the school year, doesn’t mean you have lost the chance to make friends. People at Cal are so friendly and would be more than happy to be your friend.

Here are some tips that I had picked up when I lived in the dorms not too long ago:

1) Ask if anyone wants to get breakfast, lunch, or dinner!If you ever find yourself in a group or even in the lounge on your floor, ask if anyone wants to grab food the following day. The chances are, there will be people eating by themselves or would be happy to have you join them! The more the merrier right?

2) Try studying in the lounges! I found studying in the lounge to be one of the best ways to socialize with others. Students gather here to study and catch up on assignments all the time! I found people to study with and even met some of my closest friends here. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself

3) Be on the lookout for any open doors & drop by to say hi! Some people leave their doors open when they are in the room because they are open to having company! Knock on a few doors and say hi! Who would reject a warm welcome?!

4) The bathrooms could be your best friends.Making conversation in the restroom might seem odd at first, but if you think about it, you spend a decent amount of time with the people on your floor in it! Say good morning or goodnight and ask about people’s days while you all are getting ready for school/getting ready for bed.

5) Throw out some compliments! Give someone a compliment everyday. Not only does this bring a smile to someone you don’t know, but smiling is contagious. It could possibly lift your mood and give your that boost of confidence to meet someone new!

6) Join clubs!Lastly, join a club or two that sounds interesting to you! it could be related to a favorite hobby or just about anything. There are so many clubs on campus filled with people that have similar interests as you. You can even join an IM team at the RSF!


Hi there! I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having some trouble in the social sphere, but I hope this past month at Berkeley has been kind to you academically! When I was a freshman living in Unit 2, I also found it hard to make friends at first. There were people everywhere but it was hard to find a good fit! One of the best ways to find people to befriend is by looking at the big poster posted somewhere on your floor that states everyone’s classes for the semester. Find people who are taking the same classes as you and offer to walk with them to class/sit with them during lecture or perhaps offer to hang out in the Unit 1 Academic Center and study for that class together. Another great resource is your RA. RAs tend to have a good eye on who hangs out with who on the floor and can guide you to people they feel have similar interests as you. If you want to branch out from the people on your floor, consider joining a club. At the meetings, you’re sure to find a person with the same major as you or maybe the same hobby. Don’t get discouraged, there’s plenty of students here at Berkeley and I’m sure you’ll find a good group of friends!

Love, Simran

Do you use common spaces a lot? Studying in your floor or building lounge instead of your room or a library can definitely be a great way to meet people. Try to find people in your classes who also live in your building and create or join a study group. You’ll probably have to take the first step and reach out to people a little more aggressively, which can feel awkward, but push through it. And once you meet people and make connections, make sure to get their contact information and use it! Even though it may not seem like it, a lot of your peers are probably in a similar situation, so if you see someone doing something alone, see if you can join them. Also, not everyone finds their friends in their dorm, so don’t worry! Definitely join clubs and do other activities that you’re interested in so that you can find friends with similar interests. I hope this helps! Good luck!