Communication skills are crucial, no matter what you are going to be in life. Friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbors, peers, strangers on a street – we all meet or talk to a lot of people every day even if we work or study remotely. You might not be that very social person and that’s totally okay but if you want to improve your communication skills in order to be better at your work with clients or to make more friends, then college is a great time to do that.
Why Improving Your Communication Skills While in College
Being a student teaches us not only to be better at math or biology. It also teaches us how to be better at self-care, teamwork, time management, etc. It’s a perfect time to get the most out of your opportunities, and of which is your opportunity to talk to many of your peers around you.
Making Friends in College
A lot of students suffer from social anxiety which might get worse when you are facing other types of stress due to many of your homework assignments and deadlines. And while we can help you with your essays and tasks, communication is something that you should master slowly on your own. It’s not that hard if you have some great tips on hand, and this blog post will share the best of those with you.
Don’t be upset if you don’t have many friends at college as it is a situation for the majority of college students (unlike those TV shows with lots of parties and constant friends gatherings) and it’s not that bad actually. But everyone needs someone to talk to about all the challenges that college makes us face and get some support or simply have fun. So, being friends with one or a few people is more than enough.
But you can always do something to make the situation better. If you still don’t have friends but would love to, don’t miss your chance to do it while you are a college student. Some people make friends for life while in college and you can do it too. So, let’s dive into some great tips that we have for you.
This might be an obvious tip but it really works. If you want to find people with whom you can “click” and share a lot, you need to attract the right people – your kind of people. And the best way to do that is to make sure you act like yourself without trying to fit in.
Of course, sometimes you need a little effort, for example, to manage your shyness, but in general, it doesn’t make you a totally different person. That’s what we are talking about when we say: be yourself.
Sometimes we say something that we didn’t mean and the best advice here is to listen to another person carefully and think before you talk. Obvious, right? But it is true and sometimes a kind reminder to yourself to think of a more appropriate joke might save you from embarrassment. Sometimes it’s even better to take a pause in order to catch the vibe of the conversation before you join it.
Watch Your Body Language
Have you noticed that some people do give not a friendly impression even when they are silent? That happens because of the facial impression and their body language that speaks nonverbally to everyone around them and says: “I’m not in the mood for a conversation.” Crossed arms or legs, eyes down, tense pose – these are the signs that you don’t want to translate when you want to communicate and socialize more.
This is essential for in-person gatherings as well as video conferencing. Be sure that people can approach you easily by using body language that is welcoming. This indicates that you should avoid crossing your arms or gesturing too much. Also, maintain eye contact periodically to show the other person that you are paying attention to what they are saying.
Do More to Socialize
It never happens if you are just waiting for new people to simply appear in your life. Walk around the campus, talk to other students, maybe invite someone to go somewhere – these basic things always help to exit one’s shell. You might also want to join a fraternity or sorority for a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. If this is not your cup of tea, check the following tips as you might find them very helpful.
Explore Your Campus
Exploring your new home is exciting. Try to visit campus often and find places where students tend to gather – study group sessions, library, halls, gym, campus park, etc.
You can also visit some local tourist places or discover some great cafés to go to. It’s much easier to become more open to new people when you are open to new places. Also, it’s so much fun to discover new sites together.
Maintain Online Presence
The funniest things sometimes happen online – visit the local college website or forum to stay on track with the latest campus news and to meet new friends. This is the perfect option if you feel rather less anxious when you socialize through the web.
Attend Sports or Join Clubs
Attending club meetings is one of the most effective ways to get out of the house and meet people who are like-minded and who share some of the same interests as you do. Participating in meetings of clubs and organizations provides the common ground that is essential to the development of conversations.
You might also try attending sporting events or hobby gatherings – whatever you are fond of in order to be around people who would share your interests.
Anyways, clubs and events are better than sitting in your room, and even if you are shy and feel like you might say something wrong – do it. In order to improve your social skills, you need some practice, and we are not talking about your mirror now.