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The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Tips for making friends in the first week

If+you+see+your+friends+from+high+school+posting+on+Instagram+about+all+the+new+people+they%E2%80%99re+meeting%2C+take+a+step+back+before+you+start+feeling+jealous.
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If you see your friends from high school posting on Instagram about all the new people they’re meeting, take a step back before you start feeling jealous.

As students return to GW after more than a year and a half away from campus, it’s to be expected that almost everyone’s social skills will be a little rusty.

A few awkward moments are inevitable as you start to make friends in person again, but there’s no need to feel completely overwhelmed at the prospect of forming new friendships. Here’s a list of social tips to keep in mind as you make your way through campus:

Take your time: Friendships take time to grow into a deep connection. A study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships estimates that it takes 50 hours of time with someone to become casual friends with them, about 90 hours to become real friends with them and about 200 hours to become close friends. There’s no need to worry if you don’t immediately hit it off with the people you introduce yourself to in the first few weeks of college.

Join a student organization: Finding people with a common interest can allow you to sidestep dry small talk and dive in to topics you actually find interesting. Log onto the virtual org fair on Thursday to learn more about which student organizations could be right for you. Don’t be afraid to go for something outside of your comfort zone.

Utilize friends of friends: Tagging along with a friend for a social activity can be a great way to get introduced to new people. Let your roommate know that you’re looking to get to know some new people and would love to tag along the next time they go out with friends. You never know who you might meet along the way.

Be curious: It’s well-known fact that people love to talk about themselves. Invite a new acquaintance to coffee and ask them questions about their lives. To avoid the typical “Where are you from?” and “What’s your major?” consider asking questions from this comprehensive list of questions to ask a new friend.

Quality over quantity: You might find yourself with dozens of phone numbers from people you met at the University Student Center or on the Vex, but don’t expect to become close friends with all of them. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that people are actually more likely to befriend someone who has a smaller social circle than them.

Avoid comparison: If you see your friends from high school posting on Instagram about all the new people they’re meeting and the parties they’re going to, take a step back before you start feeling jealous. Remind yourself that social media doesn’t always tell the whole story, and everyone is moving at their own pace.

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