Bonding Over Frozen Vegetables
How To Meet New People and Make Friends
Written by Katie Beemer
On my first day of college, I met one of my best friends. While that’s not an entirely unusual story, how I met her is. I had just moved in, my parents had just left, and the overwhelming first day of “freshman” was almost over, when I heard a knock on my door. There stood a tall blonde girl holding a carrot and a knife. The first words out of her mouth were: “Would you like a piece of frozen carrot?” And that was that. She asked almost everyone in the hallway, and those of us who took the carrot bonded over it. While you don’t necessarily need accidentally frozen vegetables to find friends, it certainly doesn’t hurt. And if you’d like a few other suggestions:
* * *
Join a G.O.A.L. program. Seriously, there are a lot of them. The friendships you make while volunteering are some of the coolest because you are able to bond over a common purpose. Plus, you have to be there for a set amount of time anyway, so you might as well just become friends with your team. I met all of my closest friends through one service project or another (and may or may not have dragged other friends into volunteer work just so we could hang out together).
Attend all of the freshmen events. The welcome party, the dessert at Dr. Arnn’s house, the tour of the library. You’re all new and everyone else there wants to make friends just like you do. Take advantage of this.
Join a club. Go to swing dancing, or YAF, or the Collegian meetings. You’ll definitely find people that you have something in common with, or else you wouldn’t have been interested in the same club. Go out on a limb and attend a meeting even if you don’t know anyone. Ask people why they’re there, or how they got involved.
Sit down at a random table in Bon Appétit. Most people at Hillsdale welcome newcomers. Even if you can’t think of anything else to talk about, there’s one thing we definitely all have in common: the core! You can always ask that freshman you just met who they have for Western Heritage and what do they think of such and such author. After all, the whole purpose of having a core is being able to share in common conversation.
Dorms. These are the people you live with, so get to know them! Plan movie nights, pop some popcorn, or arrange a dorm dinner and join one another for a meal in the dining hall. Talk to your suite-mate, your roommate, the random girl who lives down the hall, your R.A, etc. Ask them about classes, life back home, and whether they’re dying of homework yet.
Join an intramural sport! Flag football is super fun, and what better way to bond with someone than tackling them? If you did sports in high school and want to keep playing, or even if you didn’t do sports in high school and just want to hang out with people, you should sign up for a team. Winning (and losing) together is sure to be a bonding experience.
Talk to the people who sit next to you in classes, because they will become your friends. This is especially true for language classes, because your professor will always be asking you to practice speaking with your neighbor.
Get an on-campus job. Believe it or not, these jobs often bring with them a strong sense of camaraderie. Take the “Librarian Olympics” that the library hosts every year for its employees, for example. It’s good for team morale.
Join the music program or get involved with choir, orchestra, or pep band. Nearly one-third of the student body is involved in music in some way, so there are bound to be people there. There will always be something to bond over with others, even if it’s just whatever piece you’re working on that day.
Go Greek! Over thirty percent of the campus has found a home in one of Hillsdale’s four fraternities and three sororities. There you’ll not only make close friendships but also gain an entire house full of mentors who have been doing this whole college thing for a while and can show you the ropes.
* * *
One of the benefits of going to a small school is community. We say it a lot, and its super cliché, but “It’s the People.” So go out and meet some people, because if you look for friends, you’re bound to find them. Plus, if all else fails, you can always offer people a frozen carrot. It’s a guaranteed win.
Katie Beemer, ‘18, is a #supersophomore from #puremichigan in pursuit of a degree in #politics and #classicaleducation. She is an #extremeextrovert, uses hashtags excessively, and is the proud owner of a pet reindeer named Edgar John Cervantes III (#itsalongstory). In her free time, she volunteers with A Few Good Men and Crossroads Farm.