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How to start a conversation with a classmate

Meeting new people in class can be challenging, especially as a first year on a college or university campus. You see many people from different backgrounds before you, all with other expressions and energy about the class. However, building good relations with your classmates is necessary to succeed in a college course and make the most of your college experience.

Why should you try to meet your classmates:

When you walk into a class, you should think of it like walking into a job, and your classmates are your coworkers. You all have the same goal: to pass the class. Everyone will take notes, study late at night, and prepare for the same exam as you. You can work with your classmates to pass the class (and even excel) by building a relationship with them. Having good relationships can lead to study groups and help with particular assignments.

Furthermore, you never know when you may get sick and need notes from someone. You have your classmates' support, and their having yours ensures that all of you pass the class. Lastly, you never know if they may turn from classmates to friends, which is one of life's greatest gifts.

Happy classmate balloons

How to start your conversation with your classmates:

  1. First step: Be bold and say hi. I am not joking when I say the first step is to say "hi." I made some friends by starting a conversation with "hi." There's nothing weird about it. Catch their attention, look them in the eye, and say, "Hi, how are you?". You can catch their attention with a wave or a light, quick tap on the shoulder. Once you do, hit them with a "hi" and start the conversation.

  2. Second step: Ask them a question about themselves. A common thing in psychology is understanding that people love to talk about themselves. Asking them a question about themself is an effective way to ensure that you get a conversation going. It can be as simple as "What year are you?" or if you are feeling bolder, something more complex like "Why did you pick this class?". Starting a conversation with a question is a great way to engage your classmates.

  3. Third step: Ask for their name. This part is crucial. It's a sign of you building interest for the person. You two will exchange names, and if you want, you can include an interesting fact about the name (yours or theirs) if you know any. You can also say someone you knew before had that name (except if it's your ex, that would make them feel awkward). Knowing their name is a must.

  4. Fourth step: Talk about a subject: This is the actually difficult part... making conversation with the person. Find a subject to discuss with the person you know both of you can engage in and share opinions on. For example, talk about the professor or the homework from the night before. Ask them how they feel about the University or college, and then tell them what you think. Maintaining a conversation is critical to forming a connection with the person. Compliment a pen or laptop they have. Talk about hobbies, jobs, or even cars. Just talk with them and ask them something else when it's about to die. You don't want to talk forever but talk long enough that it feels meaningful.

  5. Fifth step: Exchange contact information: Now is the time to ask for their socials or numbers. Exchanging contact information is vital in building a connection in the future and can often even lead to a friendship. Furthermore, if you need help on a homework assignment or have a question, you will need a way to contact them. Whether it's Instagram, Snapchat, or even their school email, exchange contact information so you can always reach them later.

  6. Last step: give a good goodbye. You want to leave giving a good impression. It doesn't have to be anything crazy; say "Have a nice day" with a bright tone or "Catch you around." Give a farewell that leaves a positive message for the person. Include anything that sounds like you two will meet again, like "See you next class!" to make the person feel welcome to talk to you again another day. Just be positive and leave a happy message for them. Before you know it, you will speak to them every class for the rest of the semester.

Happy classmates talking in a library

In Conclusion:

Conversation with a classmate can initially be shy, but once you go out there and do it, it will flow like a river. If a conversation doesn't work well with one person, that's okay! Find another classmate and give it a go. Talk and get close to your classmates. Build a team with them to tackle the education system and achieve each other's success. Don't be afraid, talk to them! They are students just like you.

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