Making new friends in college can definitely be intimidating. It can be especially daunting if you’re going to a far off school where you don’t know anyone. While you don’t have to be best friends, having a few friends before school even starts can make the transition much easier. Here are a few tips on how you can get started making friends before you even set foot on campus.

1. Connect with High School Alumni

A great first step is to pull on your already existing connections. Consider reaching out to alumni of your high school who attended or now attend your university.

Even recent grads will still know people back at their alma mater. Tell them you’ll be going there too and ask if they’d be up to meet for a cup of coffee.

Although it may feel slightly contrived, a friend of a friend of an old high school acquaintance, even a seemingly distant relationship can turn into a real friendship.

One of the hardest things about college is stepping into an entirely unfamiliar environment, so any connection is a valuable one!

Plus, everyone at college was in your shoes before, so they’ll probably be willing to help you out.

2. Join a Facebook Group

Social media is an incredibly helpful tool for connecting with your future classmates. Be sure to join your class Facebook group.

Often, these Facebook groups will not only be open to accepted students from your incoming class, but will also include a few upperclassmen who are there to help answer your questions. Sometimes these are official groups organized by the school, sometimes they’re unofficial and just put together by students, so make sure to search for them thoroughly because they might not be obvious.

When you do find a group, don’t be afraid to say hi! If you’re interested in their major or have questions about an group they’re involved in, ask for their advice or just use it as an excuse to strike up a conversation (or new friendship).

Plus, your class group page is a good place to learn about upcoming social events, extracurricular activities, and clubs.

As with most social media, be careful about how much you’re posting on the group page. Remember that the school’s staff will likely also be able to see every post that goes up, so don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a school administrator to see. Keep in mind that you want to make a great impression to others as well – you don’t want people to recognize you from your Facebook photo and obnoxious posts.

3. Find Your Roommate

If you haven’t already, check-out your roommate assignment on your student portal and contact your future roommate.

This is the person you’ll probably spend the most time with for the next year so don’t be shy. It’s a great way to form a bond before move in day.

Your roommate assignment is also a great spot to find out more useful information such as what hall you’ll be living in.

4. Find a Meetup

A great way to meet new friends is to go to a meetup in your area for your college. Colleges and, sometimes, alumni organizations from the colleges will host events for new students to meet one another the summer before freshman year.

If there’s nothing official taking place, plan one yourself! Posting on the Facebook group is an easy way to set a date and place and to reach out to other incoming freshmen who live in your area.

Whether or not you end up sustaining the relationships you make with your classmates before school, attending a meetup is a great way to relieve anxiety about going off to college. Plus, it’s fun, and chances are you all have something in common with each other.

Authored by Gilmar Rosas

Gilmar works with American Honors and covers tips on how students can excel both inside and outside the classroom.