Summer is coming to a close and fall is drawing near. This is a time of transitions; a new grade, new faces, and maybe even a new room if you’re in college. Everyone feels a mix of emotions; excitement, nervousness, and possibly even loneliness. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones that has settled right in; but keep in mind that there may be people around you who are struggling with the adjustment.
I remember this time last year when I was getting ready for my first year at UCLA; to be honest, I was scared to death. It didn’t take long though before I realized that I was exactly where I was meant to be. However, my transition to college was so much easier because of the friendly smiles and open arms that greeted me when I was a new student. I’ll never forget how my Chi Omega sisters, especially my Big Sis, Kelly, made such an effort to welcome me. It made all the difference.
No matter where you are in your life right now, I encourage you to make someone’s day by letting them know that you’re thinking about them. Be selfless in your time, love, and support for others, especially during this season of transitions.
5 Ways to Make a New Friend’s Day:
1. Send them a text saying something like, “I hope you have a wonderful day. You are such an amazing person and I’m so glad that I know you!” Kelly would send me texts like this all the time and I couldn’t help but have a great day after that.
2. Give them a little, personalized gift. My biology professor taught this to me actually. On a scientific level, we have evolved to trust, like, and remember individuals that are altruistic. When you offer someone a meaningful gift, it shows that you are willing to give your time, money, and energy into finding the perfect present and they will appreciate that so much.
3. Leave a kind note for them to find. Maybe put it on their bed or desk or slip it in their bag. The element of surprise works wonders for building new friendships. Also, sometimes, people prefer to read personalized messages in private so this method gives them that opportunity.
4. Take them out somewhere: My Big Sis would take me out to yoga or dinner and this was always a fun adventure. Doing an activity that you both enjoy shows them that you are interested in forming a friendship.
5. Invite them but be understanding: Let newcomers know that they are always welcome to join in on the study session, party, or dinner. But be understanding when they may not always accept; give them time to adjust. Just because they say “no” a couple times doesn’t mean you should stop asking right away. Be patient as they adapt.