25 Ways to Make Friends at BU
Plus, tips from upperclassmen
Making friends can be a challenge. Luckily, BU has more than 36,000 undergrad and grad students in the same boat, navigating the awkward dance of introductions and polite conversation. You’re not alone.
“Just put yourself out there,” recommends Navya Kotturu (CAS’24, Sargent’24), a biochemistry and molecular biology major and a Student Government vice president. “Start a conversation with the person next to you in class, talk to someone in a club meeting, or introduce yourself to people on your floor in your dorm.”
“Look for opportunities where you think there might not be any,” says Josh Hancock (ENG’25). “In high school, I think it was mostly just close friend groups or sports teams, and I didn’t really branch out with classes or whatever. But here I’ll just chat with somebody next to me in a 70-person lecture hall.”
If you need more ideas, check out 25 ways to make friends at BU:
Coffee & Conversation is a University tradition, held weekly on Fridays from 3 to 5 pm at the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground. Students, faculty, and staff gather, practicing civil discourse, to discuss current events, trending topics, and controversial ideas while engaging with their peers. Sign up for the HTC newsletter to learn about upcoming events and meeting topics.
2. Do your homework in a (somewhat) loud place
Get out of your dorm and head to the George Sherman Union, Mugar Memorial Library, or the Center for Computing & Data Sciences, with its views of the Boston skyline. This won’t work for something you really need to focus on, but doing your homework in a public place means being surrounded by people. Who knows, you may bump into someone from one of your classes or someone on your floor.
3. Keep your door open
At least the first few weeks of school, keep your dorm room door open if you are inside and just hanging out. Floormates are more likely to stop and say hi this way. Plus, they make ideal buddies to go to the dining hall, work out at FitRec, or walk to class with.
4. Make an effort to talk to everyone on your floor
Knock on their door and introduce yourself. Or say hi when you pass in the hallway. It helps to know the names, majors, and hometowns of people who live on your floor and in your building. Be sure to introduce yourself to your RA too, since you never know when you might need them.
5. Attend floor meetings
These meetings often start the first week of school and then several times during the semester. Hosted by your RA, they provide important updates and information and are a chance to make friends with people on your floor.
6. Join one club (or several)
BU has over 450 student organizations. Clubs are a great way to meet people who share the same interests. According to the Student Activities Office, the most popular clubs at BU are cultural organizations and community and engagement groups. Check out the full list of student organizations here.
7. Introduce yourself to people on either side of you in class
Instead of checking your phone while waiting for class to start, chat up the people seated around you. Ask them their names and exchange phone numbers or create a class group chat on GroupMe. Classmates are also a great source to answer questions about your course.
8. Volunteer with the Community Service Center
The Community Service Center (CSC) is a great place to make friends while helping others. There are tons of ways to get involved, ranging from one-time service opportunities to longer programs like the First-Year Student Outreach Project (FYSOP) and Alternative Spring Break trips.
9. Become involved with Umoja
Umoja is BU’s Black Student Union. Umoja means “unity” in Swahili and the organization’s mission is to unite the University’s Black community. Check out their Instagram page for upcoming events and ways to get involved.
10. Meet a fellow astronomy fan at the Coit Observatory’s Public Open Nights
Got plans Wednesday night? The Coit Observatory, on the roof of the College of Arts & Sciences building, has hosted open nights for the public since 1967. The free program starts at 7:30 pm on Wednesdays during the fall and winter months (8:30 pm in the spring and summer months) and offers visitors the chance to look through telescopes and observe the night sky. Tickets are required; reserve them online starting at 11 am the Thursday before.
11. Club and intramural sports
Teammates are known to have incredibly tight bonds. Joining a club sport like baseball, volleyball, soccer, sailing, figure skating, water polo, or golf will get you active, occupy your free time, and introduce you to new people.
Not looking for anything too competitive? Intramural sports are more casual than club sports and students can form their own teams without tryouts. Fall intramurals include soccer, volleyball, tennis, and more.
12. Invite friends on your floor to be Boston tourists for a day
Window shop on Newbury Street or walk the Freedom Trail. Have a picnic in the Public Garden and people-watch as willow trees blow in the breeze above you. Head to the North End and get a cannoli, slice of pizza, or arancini rice ball. The options are endless, so get out there and start exploring your new home city.
13. Take a one-credit class at FitRec
Looking to get active? Add a one-credit PDP class to your schedule. FitRec offers several classes, such as yoga, martial arts, dance, weight-lifting, figure skating, rock climbing, and sailing. Why not get active and try something new?
14. Go on an outing with the BU Outing Club (BUOC)
Have an urge for adventure and exploration? Join the BU Outing Club and attend trips throughout the year, like hiking, canoeing, biking, cross-country skiing, backpacking, and more. Everyone is welcome, regardless of experience level.
15. Grab a coffee on campus with a classmate
College students love caffeine, so why not invite a classmate to grab coffee with you? Bring some homework and head to Pavement, Caffe Nero, Starbucks, or Dunkin’. You can also order your coffee to go and head to the BU Beach to relax near the Charles River.
16. Visit the Newbury Center
The Newbury Center supports and celebrates first-generation students at BU and hosts mentoring programs and events throughout the year. Check out the center’s website to learn more about the Newbury Center and ways to get involved.
17. Join a club related to your major
Looking to gain professional experience? Join an organization related to your major to meet people who share the same interests and get hands-on learning experience. For example, budding inventors may want to check out BU Spark! which offers several opportunities for students to get involved in entrepreneurship and data-driven projects.
18. Get a part-time job on campus
Earn money while meeting new people. Campus jobs have you working alongside other students and show future employers that you know how to manage your time. Check out job listings on the Student Link in locations like the dining hall, mail room, or library.
19. Register for Student 9s
Did you know BU students are eligible to receive $9 Red Sox tickets every time Fenway doesn’t sell out for a home game? Round up some floor mates or classmates and register for Student9s today to get notified the next time they’re available.
Show some school spirit and attend a men’s or women’s ice hockey game this fall. Join fellow Terriers in shouting chants at the opposing team, singing along with the Pep Band, and eating at Raising Cane’s postgame. Come support the women’s team, facing Northeastern on Friday, October 6, at Walter Brown Arena, and cheer on the men’s team, playing UMass Amherst on Friday, October 27, at Agganis Arena.
21. Visit religious centers on campus
Students of all faiths can find their community at one of BU’s many religious centers, including Hillel, the Catholic Center, and Marsh Chapel. These centers host events and celebrate holidays throughout the year and are open to all.
22. Form a study group
Meet up with classmates on a weekly or monthly basis to go over homework, ask questions, and study for upcoming exams or quizzes. Bring pizza and snacks to fuel you through each study session or grab dinner together after your meeting.
23. Join Student Government
Want to gain leadership skills and represent your peers? Join BU Student Government and get involved in one of its many branches and committees. Check out its website for information, application forms, and upcoming events.
24. Grab a drink or a nosh at Fuller’s BU Pub
Looking for a place to meet other 21-plus BU students…and even some faculty? Fuller’s BU Pub, 225 Bay State Road, has over 15 beers on tap, brunch, burgers, and flatbreads, and an enclosed patio. Whether you want to embark on the Knight’s Quest or just need a cozy place to catch a Patriots game, Fuller’s BU Pub could be your new hangout spot (convenience and dining points accepted).
24. Ice-skate at Walter Brown Arena
Bring some classmates or roommates and go ice-skating at Walter Brown Arena on weekends during the semester. Find dates and times for open skating here. Admission is free for FitRec members and skate rentals are $5 per person.