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Making Friends

Hannah describes the many avenues through which she has made friends at Carleton.

Hannah describes the many avenues through which she has made friends at Carleton.

The Process of ~Friendship~

If you think about it, going to college is a lot of wild change all at once. New people, new place, new weather (for some people), new classes, new learning environment, new professors, new living space… the list goes on. One of the “new” experiences I was most worried about when coming to Carleton was new friends. My friend group throughout high school was filled with people I had known for years. All of a sudden I was in this new place where I didn’t know anyone! Not even an acquaintance from my high school goes here.

While that might not be the case for everyone, it’s a very odd feeling to go from a place where everyone knows you, to suddenly being a “clean slate.” Now I’m not saying I took the opportunity of attending college where nobody knows who I was in high school to reinvent myself. (I would actually say that Carleton gives you the chance to be who you truly are, cliché as it sounds). But to some extent, you are starting over.

Unfortunately for me, that thought was a bit terrifying! As someone who is at least a bit socially awkward and introverted especially around new people, the process of meeting a bunch of strangers and re-establishing myself as a person sounded stressful.

Luckily, Carleton has some solutions for people like me (okay, I’m probably not as horrible at social interaction as I make it out to be). Carleton offers plenty of opportunities to meet new people, even if you’re shy or not incredibly out-going (and that’s okay because it’s awesome to have all types of people). Moral of this very long and winding introduction: Today’s blog post is how I have met some of my friends here at Carleton.

New Student Week

Two of my friends, Jacob and Nathaniel chilling in the 4th Myers lounge

Right off the bat, this is a Carleton classic. When you first arrive during New Student Week you are placed into a group that you will spend the week with while you get acquainted with campus. This group is lead by 2-3 student leaders, and has about 10-15 (ish) other new students. While you may not become best friends with the people in your group, after the week is over you know lots of friendly faces around campus. On top of that, you get to know some upperclassmen within your very first week! Luckily for me, I ended up becoming close friends with three members of my group. We often get dinner together or hangout on weekends if we are too busy during the week.


This might seem kind of obvious, but even if you are not great at being vocal during class or introducing yourself, classes are a great way to meet people. Professors have students interact in a variety of ways, from group projects to classroom discussions. I have gotten pretty close with my Latin class, and we even have an entire class group chat! Studying with a group of people is extra beneficial because you make friends and avoid struggling through something on your own.


Regardless of what level of sports you are participating in, these activities are a great way to meet people! I met my best friend Audrey (a regular seen throughout my blog posts) through the women’s track team. We even plan on rooming together next year!

Audrey + Hannah = besties

Being on a team is awesome because it is basically “built in friends in case you don’t have any” as one of my coaches likes to joke. Because we spend so much time together (practice, team meals, and meets) you get pretty close with a large variety of people. For example, I have gotten to know upperclassman who are full of life, college advice, and fun. We also have socials with other teams on campus, which helps you meet tons of other people outside of just your sport. This goes for intramural and club sports too!

Some of the sprinters/jumpers side of the track team (not pictured: all of the distance runners and the men’s team too!)

Additionally, it doesn’t have to be a sport where you meet other people with interests similar to yours. There are so many student organizations and activities on campus, that there is quite literally something for everyone. And, if you decide that there isn’t something for you, you can even start your own!

Friends of Friends?

Peter and Cullen
My friends Peter and Cullen

I feel like this makes sense, but I had to include it because it’s how I met most of my other friends! You get to know people through other people. Somehow I ended up friends with a bunch of frisbee players (read the origin story here), and to this day I’m still not sure how or why. Yet, I love them all dearly despite having no clue what they are talking about 85% of the time.


Sara Meredith Audrey
Sara, Meredith, and Audrey!
Adam and Cullen
Adam and Cullen (again)


Eating with people is a great way to get to know new people! This is where the whole “friend of a friend” situation all comes together. One day you sit by someone who knows one of your friends at dinner, and three weeks later you’re all hanging out as a group!

This is a dysfunctional photo but I am going to pretend that we are all prepared and looking at the camera

To conclude this friendship story, don’t stress about meeting people! It will happen (though it takes time), and it’s going to be awesome.

Hannah is a freshman interested in Political Science and learning as much as she can about whatever she can. Born and raised in Minnesota, she considers herself somewhat of an expert on MN winters. She can’t wait for ice skating on the Bald Spot and Nordic skiing in the Arb, along with exploring all of the other amazing opportunities and activities on campus! When Hannah isn’t in class, she can be found reading, running for the Carleton Track team, watching TikToks, and tutoring with the Northfield Read and Counts Program. Meet the other bloggers!