As a mom who is returning to college the last thing on your mind is probably making new friends. You are more concerned with how you are going to juggle your family, your schoolwork and perhaps your job. However, social relationships are highly important to women. If you can find a way to make new friends in your classes at school than you may boost your own success as a result.
Benefits of Making Friends at School
Why should you take on the added burden of trying to befriend the people in your classes? Because it offers you numerous benefits:
- People to discuss school topics with. Your spouse and current group of friends just may not have an interest in what you are studying. New friends in class will provide a great outlet for discussing all you are learning.
- Social support. School may feel tough. It is easier to give up and drop out if you don’t have a strong and encouraging network. That support can help get you through.
- Folks to vent to. One of the ways that we deal with stress as women is to talk about it. When problems arise in class it helps to have people who can relate.
- Improved associations with school. The happier you are about returning to college, the easier the program will be for you. You will get more out of it when you have a great social system.
Simple Tips for Making New College Friends
These hints may seem obvious to some, but the truth is that it’s tough for many women to make friends as adults, especially with other women. There can be a lot of competition and jealousy and just general awkwardness around forming new friendships - especially for any who feel like the odd one out as an older student returning to school. The following tips can help:
- Identify 1 or 2 women you feel you have something in common with. Maybe they are also older students; perhaps they are young but also moms. There are all kinds of people you can reach out and connect to.
- Engage these women in conversation about their own experiences with the class or their return to school. If you ask probing questions then you can usually get a conversation going and that is what ultimately leads to friendship.
- Form a study group. Since you have a busy life you probably can’t just sit around after class gossiping for hours. A focused task like a study group helps you stick to your academic goals while making friends.
- Grow the friendship through other modes of communication. Email, Facebook and texting can all help you get to know someone else without requiring as much time and effort as face to face get-togethers.
- Accept that these friendships may be limited in time and scope. You don’t need to make a new best friend for life. You have those already. Take these friendships for what they are and if it lasts that’s a nice bonus.
Ready to make new associations at school? Pick the program that best suits your busy schedule.