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12 Ways to Make Friends in College

At Carthage, the next four years offer the potential to turn all of the new faces you see into new friendships. So how exactly do you make those lifelong friends everybody’s always talking about? Here are some tips from Carthage students and alumni:

Two friends getting lunch1. Room with somebody you don’t know.

“I met my roommate on the Carthage Facebook page for new students and we decided to live together. We had the same living habits and interests so we thought we would give it a try, and it turned out to be the best thing possible. We are now best friends and do everything together, which has really helped the transition into college. I would advise rooming with someone you do not already know. It will give you a chance to experience someone new and go out of your comfort zone.” — Bryanna Horn ’18


2. Go to the Involvement Fair.

Carthage holds an Involvement Fair at the start of the fall and spring semesters. Want to meet people? Go to the Involvement Fair. “As the year has gone on, I’ve gone from having a small group of four friends to a small army of 20 that I see every day. I was very nervous about how I would find any friends when I came to Carthage, but it just sort of happened. I met one of my best friends at the Involvement Fair, and while there, I heard about Wave Radio, met more people at the first meeting, and things snowballed from there. Not only did the Involvement Fair allow me to meet new people, but it also allowed me to explore my interests.” — John Archer ’18


Students smiling in class3. Get to know people in your classes.

“I made a lot of friends through clubs, but I actually made my best friends in my classes. After working on a group project with kids in my Spanish class, we decided to get lunch one day and now we hang out all the time. That is one great thing about having small class sizes. It’s very easy to make lasting friendships.” — Samantha Johnson ’18


Five students sitting in the lounge in the Oaks Residence Hall4. Join Residence Life Council.

Residence Life Council is a group that works to improve campus life at Carthage. RLC members work with residence hall directors to organize campus activities. Members often end up in leadership roles by their sophomore and junior years, becoming resident assistants (RAs) or assistant hall directors (AHDs). “The most important part of my job as a resident assistant (RA) is to make my residents feel comfortable. Most students have never lived away from home before college, so, as an RA, I help them with the transition to independence and build community to enhance their college experience.” — Jack Grossman ’21


Holi Festival 2019

5. Go to CAB events.

The Carthage Activities Board, or CAB, hosts a ton of events on campus every month, bringing in musicians, hypnotists, and comedians, and hosting other activities like movies and themed bingo, a Carthage tradition. “Last year, students were given the opportunity to go to a Milwaukee Bucks game for $5 with transportation included. A bunch of my friends went, and we had a ton of fun. CAB does a great job of putting on events like this that students actually want to go to, so this is one of my favorite memories from the past year.” — David Budzisz ’23


Students in the Sailing Club6. Join a club on campus.

“Whenever I heard of an opportunity to get involved with an organization, I accepted to make friends and help out the Carthage community. Getting involved in different clubs is very important because, through them, you begin to feel comfortable with the people around you and the campus. I got involved with Pep Band, which was my favorite part about freshman year. Being able to attend sporting events at Carthage is so much fun!” — Graham Westley ’18


Students high fiving at the new student orientation7. Keep in touch with peers you meet during Orientation.

“I made a lot of friends Orientation Weekend, just by introducing myself to people. Everyone was looking to make friends, and it didn’t take long. You meet people through other people.” — Ashley Cross ’18


Three students talking in a dorm8. Talk to people in your residence hall.

“Some of my favorite Carthage moments come from being on the soccer team and living with all of my friends on the fourth floor of  Denhart Hall.” — Logan Dolehide ’19


Students posing in front of a castle in Germany on a study tour9. Go on a J-Term study tour.

“The greatest opportunity I have had so far has been my international business J-Term study tour to Sweden this past January. We gained great insights from about eight different companies that we visited, meeting their CEOs and presidents, and learning what it takes to have their kind of success. I highly recommend this trip for any major, but the business aspect is truly incredible.” — Chelsea Niemuth ’18


A frat at an outdoor park10. Join Greek Life.

Carthage is home to 13 local and nationally affiliated sororities and fraternities, and they recruit new members every fall and spring. Recruitment is open to students who are second-semester freshmen or above, and meet GPA requirements. “I am in Alpha Chi Omega and also serve on e-board as our New Member Educator! My sorority has been one of the most amazing experiences and has brought me so many of my life-long friends! I have made amazing memories that will last a lifetime and have also grown as a person and as a leader.” — Allyssa Vargas ’22


Student workers in the Aspire Center11. Get an on-campus job.

“Something that helped me meet people right away was getting an on-campus job. I work in the Dean of Students Office, which helped me to meet many people and work with other students.” — Bryanna Horn ’18


Three students waving on Campus Drive12. Dare to reach out.

“Meeting new people and living on campus has really made my life a lot more fun and interesting. There are so many chances to reach out and make friends on campus, that it was awesome to be able to meet such amazing new people.” — Alex Rogers ’21

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $22,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …

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