by KJ McNamara
Fall is in the air! School is still fresh, you’re not sick of Pumpkin Spice Lattes yet, and your fall clothes still have tags on them. For many people this Fall, they’re ready to step it up when it comes to building friendships and enhancing their chapter involvement. Maybe this year is the time you can become the person you know you have potential to be!
Maybe you can finally make that new group of friends this year! Maybe you can run for that leadership position you really want! Maybe you can find your go-to person that you text when you have a good day or a bad day! If you’re ready to take your college and fraternity or sorority experience to the next level, here are a few things to keep in mind:
#1 It is never too late to make friends.
Seriously! We are afraid to kick it with a group in the chapter because we are afraid they don’t want to hang out with us. Or, we are afraid that there is a wall up around them that we cannot get through. That wall is something we made in our own heads.
The best way to make friends is to be a friend first. Start inviting people to do stuff with you. If you are going to the gym, ask three people if they want to go with you before you go alone. If you are walking to class, text a person in your class and ask them if they want to meet for coffee first. If you are going to study at the library after chapter, announce it and see if anyone wants to go with you.
There are people in the chapter who want more friends too. You can be that person for them… just be bold. You’ve got this.
#2 Happiness. Is. Contagious.
Having a great attitude is contagious. People want to be around happy people. If you are feeling awesome, people around you will feel awesome. If you are feeling icky, go talk to someone about it…. It will help.
Character is defined by your attitude. People vote for someone who inspires them. People invite others to hang out who make them laugh and feel good. People say “yes” to a person who makes them feel happy. Your attitude this year will define your ability to make an impact.
Find a hobby that makes you happy… besides Netflix. It could be yoga, it could be sitting in your room and writing short stories. The joy you find in that little thing will give others joy. You are interesting, and you deserve to invest in yourself. Your hobby will help you bring a new perspective to your chapter and your friends. And it will make you happy. People want to be around happy people.
The best way for you to make an impact is to listen. Listen to people when they talk to you. Look them in the eye when you are in line for food. When you are walking to class and you see someone you ‘kinda’ know walking 100 feet behind you, wait. Pause, take out your ear buds, and talk to them.
When you are sitting waiting for a meeting, go up to a member in your chapter who does not have a well-defined friend group and chat with them. Ask questions. Ask more questions about them, and actively try to talk about yourself less. Listen when they respond. Everyone is looking for someone to listen to them. Everyone is looking for someone to care about them.
Here are a few phrases that will change your relationships with your current friends and the people in your chapter who need friends:
- Tell Me More About What You Mean By That?
- Explain to me…
- Talk To Me About…
- Tell Me The Story Of…
- Help Me Understand…
Here are some examples:
Friend says: I am having a busy week… it is so frustrating.
Old You: I know right! Do you have exams? When are they done? Well Stay Strong! We will celebrate and get crazy when it is over!
New You: I hear you! Tell me about your week…. Why is it frustrating?
Friend says: I don’t know what I am going to do tonight… I guess watch Netflix and try to study.
Old You: Yeah… me too.
New You: How about we study together a little and then go do something! Why are we not enjoying college a little more?
Friend says: I hated that test…
Old You: Yeah… Me too…. It sucked. I am glad it is over.
New You: It was hard… talk to me about why you hated it?
New You: Isn’t this your major? Explain to me how you picked this/are you enjoying it still?
New You: We should study together next time! I struggled too! Tell me about how you study and what you need in class to be successful and we can help each other out.
Taking those three concepts and applying them in the next few weeks will work wonders for your college experience! I believe in you, and I’m so excited for you as you continue growing and leading as part of your chapter.