I think that only you have the answer to that question. College is an opportunity to branch out and step out of your comfort zone but, no one is going to force you to do so. If you are asking for my advice then, yes, I think you should try to branch out and push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
One facet of your college tenure is totally unique: the time you spend in college is the only period during which you will be entirely surrounded by people roughly your age with similar goals and aspiration and, yet, come from a variety of different backgrounds. My recommendation is that you try to share at least one moment with a stranger each day. It could be a brief conversation while waiting in line to get coffee or a meal or simply a nod and a smile. Doing so will make it easier to interact and connect with people and the world around you. It's something you can carry with you into post-graduate life.
An open mound is a powerful tool. This exercise will help build that characteristic.
I hope this helps - good luck.
That's a great question and I am so glad you are thinking about this ahead of time! College was such an amazing experience for me and I met some of my closest friends during my college years.
Here are some tips I would recommend but there is really no wrong way to branch out and make friends (as long as you are open and receptive)!
- Attend orientation (if your college offers one) - My school offered an overnight orientation program before the first semester began. Initially, I was skeptical that an overnight stay would be very beneficial, but it actually made such a huge difference and took a lot of the anxiety off of the first day on campus. During the orientation, student volunteers did tours of the campus, pointed out the different cafeterias/dining halls, allowed us to guest-sit in one of the popular classes, and most of all, the school match us up in different groups of new freshmen admits (and gave us tips on signing up for classes).
- Stay in a dorm - Personally, I loved staying in a dorm my freshmen year and just being around everyone who is trying to make new friends!
- Join a club - Another way to get to know new people and branch out is to join an on-campus club. There are so many different clubs for different interests. I joined a club geared toward Business majors, and through the club, I was able to not only make new friends, but I receive lots of guidance and tips from more senior classmates who were in the same major.
Yes you probably will step out of your comfort zone in college and branching out is a good thing! One reason for going to college is to gain new experiences along with knowledge. If you set your mind to thinking positively about being in a new environment you can enjoy these special times.
Each time you try something new (first day in a dorm, saying hello to someone you've never met, etc.) remind yourself that you have just branched out!
With every good wish!