Hi, my sister has just started college where she doesn’t know anyone. Confidence has always been an issue for her and she is finding it hard to make new friends on her course. Is there anything I can do to help her with this? She’s recently been brought to tears because she wants to do well but wants to have support from fellow pupils and make new friendships. Thanks.

Be positive. Encourage her to reach out to people in class and to join activities she finds interesting. You might also suggest she seek out counseling at the college. But eventually she will have to make her own way.

Please give your sister a link to the College Life forum and ask her to read the pinned posts, which should be helpful to her. Your sister is not alone.

Thanks for helping your sister! Colleges are still having their club activities, even if they are all virtual. usually a school will have an online listing of clubs and activities. If she is in a dorm, her dorm or her dorm floor maybe having activities as well. She should definitely try that, and remember that many of her peers are feeling the same way…wanting to meet people but unsure how. She could ask someone on her floor to have lunch together, ask a classmate to study together, even check in with her RA who might be able to loop her into some activities or groups.

Pre-covid I would refer you to this:

Keep reminding her of the times she has struggled and succeeded. Ultimately, this is up to her, but you can help by being a n ear for her and cheering her on. It doesn’t sound like much, but it can make a difference.

Know several kids who just started their college “experience”. Very different and difficult during covid. Fewer activities and gatherings. Harder to meet people. Feel bad for this cohort.

That said, she is not alone. Many feel the same way regardless of how extroverted / introverted they are. Take things a day at a time and don’t be too tough on herself. She doesn’t have to force the issue and “be on” all the time as that isn’t natural for her. Hopefully she’ll make one friend and grow from there.

It just takes time.