At Carthage, the next four years offer the potential to turn all of the new faces you see into new friendships. So how exactly do you make those lifelong friends everybody’s always talking about? Here are some tips from Carthage students and alumni:
1. Room with somebody you don’t know.
“I met my roommate on the Carthage Facebook page for new students and we decided to live together. We had the same living habits and interests so we thought we would give it a try, and it turned out to be the best thing possible. We are now best friends and do everything together, which has really helped the transition into college. I would advise rooming with someone you do not already know. It will give you a chance to experience someone new and go out of your comfort zone.” — Bryanna Horn ’18
2. Go to the Org Fair.
Carthage holds an Org Fair — Organization Fair — at the start of the fall and spring semesters. Want to meet people? Go to the Org Fair. “As the year has gone on, I’ve gone from having a small group of four friends to a small army of 20 that I see every day. I was very nervous about how I would find any friends when I came to Carthage, but it just sort of happened. I met one of my best friends at the Organization Fair, and while there, I heard about Wave Radio, met more people at the first meeting, and things snowballed from there. Not only did the Org Fair allow me to meet new people, it also allowed me to explore my interests.” — John Archer ’18
3. Get to know people in your classes.
“I made a lot of friends through clubs, but I actually made my best friends in my classes. After working on a group project with kids in my Spanish class, we decided to get lunch one day and now we hang out all the time. That is one great thing about having small class sizes. It’s very easy to make lasting friendships.” — Samantha Johnson ’18
4. Join Residence Life.
Residence Life Council is a group that works to improve campus life at Carthage. RLC members work with residence hall directors to organize campus activities. Members often end up in leadership roles by their sophomore and junior years, becoming resident assistants (RAs) or assistant hall directors (AHDs). “The most important and meaningful relationships I had were with staff members and residents when I was an RA and AHD. These were the people I saw most often throughout the year, and what we went through together really brought us close together. I met two of my best friends while on staff together. It was an amazing experience getting to work with these wonderful people. The relationships I made will last forever, not only as friendships, but because of the impact they have had in my life. ” — Hayley Walbeck ’15
5. Go to CAB events.
The Campus Activities Board, or CAB, hosts a ton of events on campus every month, bringing in musicians, hypnotists, and comedians, and hosting other activities like movies and themed bingo. “Go to the CAB events that Carthage has to offer, especially in the first few weeks of school. Everybody will be at those events and it will be simple to find a group of friends to talk to. Don’t be afraid to say hi to someone. Trust me, everyone wants to make a new friend just as badly as you want to.” — Justice Good ’18
6. Join a club on campus.
“Whenever I heard of an opportunity to get involved with an organization, I accepted to make friends and help out the Carthage community. Getting involved in different clubs is very important because through them, you begin to feel comfortable with the people around you and the campus. I got involved with Pep Band, which was my favorite part about freshman year. Being able to attend sporting events at Carthage is so much fun!” — Graham Westley ’18
7. Keep in touch with peers you meet during orientation.
“I made a lot of friends orientation weekend, just by introducing myself to people. Everyone was looking to make friends, and it didn’t take long. You meet people through other people.” — Ashley Cross ’18
8. Talk to people in your residence hall.
“I had always been told that I would find some of my best friends within my own residence hall and that could not have been truer. I was introduced to the majority of my close friends in Denhart Hall. I strengthened these friendships over the course of my first year by regularly attending Residence Life Council meetings, hanging out in the basement, and playing volleyball in the courtyard. Friends are everywhere at Carthage, and they’re just a text message or short walk away. It’s those late night walks along the beach or to the lighthouse with friends; it’s those summer nights going downtown or playing volleyball at Somer’s; those are the things I am going to miss. The people, the experiences, and the memories are why I am ever indebted to Carthage.” — Cody Houzenga ’15
9. Go on a J-Term study tour.
Every January, during Carthage’s J-Term, faculty lead study tours around the world. “My most meaningful friendships have come from making it through new and challenging experiences with other people. I made 21 friends on my J-Term trip sophomore year by getting to know all of my classmates while traveling in a new place. The great part is, you become friends with all of your friends’ friends, and pretty soon you feel like you know everyone on campus.” — Dana Ehrmann ’15
10. Join Greek Life.
Carthage is home to 16 local and nationally affiliated sororities and fraternities, and they recruit new members every fall and spring. Recruitment is open to students who are second-semester freshmen or above, and meet GPA requirements. “The minute I could sign up for spring recruitment, I did. Being a freshman and having to wait to go through this process was slightly disappointing, but I went through recruitment and gained a huge group of friends from the process alone. My new group of friends are the girls in my chapter.” — Megan Marfilius ’18
11. Get an on-campus job.
“Something that helped me meet people right away was getting an on-campus job. I work in the Dean of Students Office, which helped me to meet many people and work with other students.” — Bryanna Horn ’18
12. Dare to reach out.
“I have finally discovered the truth behind ‘it’s the little things that count.’ So many of my friendships have started simply because someone dared to reach out to me, or because I dared to reach out to them in some small way. Because of Carthage, I can move forward in the world knowing how to establish quality relationships with others, and how to maintain give and take within my relationships.” — Darien Jefferson ’15