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Lonely freshman

kerniekernie Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
My son left for RPI very excited about starting his college life, but after 3 weeks he has found it hard to make a group of friends. He says everyone is the dorm keeps their doors shut and do not socialize. He has joined two clubs, but still does not have anyone to hang out with. He is getting depressed and wants to come home every weekend so at least he has us to talk to. Does anyone have any suggestions of what else he can do to find friends? He is shy and it is hard for him to open up around strangers, but he says he tries to start conversations with people, but sometimes they talk with him and sometimes they do not.
Post edited by kernie on

Replies to: Lonely freshman

  • sandpitsandpit Registered User Posts: 158 Junior Member
    It is hard to make too many recommendations without seeing the dynamics in play. But now that classes are started, can he form/join homework groups to review problem sets? Clubs are great as well, maybe he has time for more than two? He a gamer? There's usually groups playing video games somewhere. Board games and card games are also really popular with some, maybe if he had a game or two in his room and he could invite others.

    They used to have bricks in Barton to keep the doors open but they were removed for fire safety reasons. So a closed door doesn't mean the people necessarily want privacy. We bought our daughter a door stop, maybe he can use one in his room? (not sure why door stops OK, bricks not).

    Maybe if he eats at a slightly different time there might be a crowd in dining hall that he'd enjoy more.

    Patiences is the main thing! He will find people he enjoys.

    Best wishes for him to find his niche.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,921 Senior Member
    Oh, how I learned this in my kids' middle school: to be appreciated, you must be noticed. To be noticed, you must first be seen. Tell son to get to the library, go to a campus performance of any kind, go sit in some common room where others are watcing a sports game- whatever it takes to be seen. After a while, kids recognize you, make some sort of odd connection that you're part of their orbit. (Dumb concept? It works.)
  • kerniekernie Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Thank you for your suggestions. I will share these with him this weekend.
  • kgrmomkgrmom Registered User Posts: 81 Junior Member
    I was going to ask which dorm he was in but I did see that someone mentioned Barton. I believe my daughter told me the one downside of that "beautiful" dorm was that for some reason the kids there tended to keep their doors closed more often than in the other buildings :( Maybe because of the way it is designed ?

    I know he probably doesn't feel this way but is has been "only" 3 weeks. That really isn't a very long time. A lot of the kids are settling in still. Especially the ones that are more shy. He's also done one very important thing- JOIN some clubs. If they are not very active clubs - maybe try something else after a few weeks.

    How is he getting around right now? Has he ridden the bus yet? Made his first WalMart run? Maybe he could ask a couple of the guys to take the bus with him for that venture. Good to have a few friends the first few times you try that.
  • chilltchillt Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    A great way for a shy person to start a conversation is to let one's own curiosity wander. He can try asking about a person and talking, then asking another question related and commenting. Generally other people are very interested in themselves and are interested in others who show an interest in their favorite subject! Just be careful to not become an interrogator.
  • whydoicarewhydoicare Registered User Posts: 382 Member
    Look into pledging a fraternity, also consider APO, which is a service fraternity. If he's any good at sports, try intramurals. The point is to get involved in more actively doing things with other people. Some of the clubs may not be so active. And it does take time.
  • RandwulfRandwulf Registered User Posts: 483 Member
    What dorm is he in? I'm a freshman in BARH and lots of people leave their doors open.

    My favorite way to make friends is to sneak into peoples' dorms while they're watching a movie (with their room mate or friends. It's just awkward if you walk in and watch a movie with a stranger. Two strangers is a lot less awkward :P)
  • kerniekernie Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    My son is in Cary Hall.
This discussion has been closed.