From study partners to new lunch friends, learning to connect with classmates has endless perks. Making connections in a new environment can make or break students’ success in the classroom, and even their overall contentment with their college experience.

Share these tips with your students for making it happen.

In the classroom

Some students may struggle with reaching out and making connections more than others. However, making a connection with a classmate can be vital to your success in that course. Get to know a classmate or two in each of your classes so you have a contact for when you miss a class, need a study partner, or need help understanding an assignment or reading.

Just having a classmate or group of people on your side throughout the semester can also make all the difference when you’re struggling in a course. You can bounce new ideas off of them and see the material from multiple points of view.

On campus

The most common places on campus for making new connections are the classroom or the dorms. But there are plenty of other ways to meet people that may end up having the same courses for a study group, or may just be a brand new friend.

In her post “4 ways college students can overcome shyness,” author Lorraine Savage explains:

One of the first things I did on campus was find a club with my same interests. I joined the film club because I knew it would be easier for me to come out of my shell when I was surrounded by people who had something in common with me. I could easily start a conversation with them because we all had the same frame of reference.

If the classroom setting doesn’t seem to be working, organizations or clubs may be your best bet. They’re both viable opportunities where you’ll conveniently have at least one thing in common from the get-go.

You may even find an organization with other students in your major, with similar courses. For example, for communications majors, most campuses have a PRSSA club, or Public Relations Student Society of America.

Pre-professional societies are a great way for students in the same major to support one another and learn about opportunities in their field.

What is your strategy for making connections in a new environment? Share your ideas below.