I was not popular in high school.

Not hated, to be fair, but definitely not well liked.

I was (and still am) the kind of person to ramble on about why, exactly, is it that Americans hate Kanye West while my classmates slowly formed a lynch mob around my chair.

It didn’t help that I lived in a small conservative town, and was the oldest child of two teachers – an ESTP and an ISTJ- who were very popular. My dad, who is a Chemistry teacher, has a reputation for being the dude that likes to blow things up in class.

These qualities pretty much guaranteed that I was going to be an alien to my peers for my entire elementary/middle/high school education. And I totally was. It was awful. By the time I graduated, I was left with approximately eight friends and no particularly fond memories to speak of.

Even so, I was still super nervous about going to college. I didn’t realize, at the time, that literally anywhere else was going to be better than where I grew up. No one had told me, as an ENTP, that I was going to be (mostly) fine when I left.

Since I’ve started college, all of my weird fears of being alone forever have been entirely invalidated.

I’m not failing my classes, I have time to sleep (usually) and I’ve made friends – except making friends is easily the weirdest and most confusing thing I have recently done.

So, for my own sake, I’ve compiled some tips for making friends in college:

Leave Your Dorm As Much As Possible (or at least join some clubs)

First off, I didn’t know how many clubs existed in college. I, for example, am in a club that meets once a month and drinks tea out of kickin’ tiny cups. I’m not totally sure what other clubs exist, but I don’t need them.

If, for some reason, you are a monster that can never be loved and don’t want to drink tea out of itty-bitty cups, join something else. I have seriously only met other Intuitives outside of class. It’s hard to talk to someone about the deeper, possibly psychological reasons that Adam Sandler is no longer funny when you have to take notes, which is why class is not the place to find friends. And, because Intuitves only make up 25% of the population, there is a 75% chance the person sitting next to you won’t be that interested.


Instead, join your tea club. Or join your anime club.

Maybe join your Young Republicans club (or don’t).

If none of those sound fun, start your own. Make a Quidditch team or something.

Joining a club, or at least leaving your bedroom, is probably the quickest way to meet people.

Befriend Professors and Teaching Assistants

If that somehow doesn’t work, start bugging your professors and TAs. If they teach an interesting class- environmental science, philosophy, writing- you should probably lure them into a corner and figure out if they’re Intuitive.

When you figure out that they are, great: you have just found someone very interesting and probably way smarter than you. I actually bullied my creative writing teacher into giving me advice about this article, and during our discussion he told me he was an ENFJ.

But even if you can’t replicate that situation with your own teachers, if you figure they are Intuitive, talk to them.

Harassing your professors into friendship is a good way to become more comfortable with being Intuitive in college (especially if you’re used to blending), and is also helpful for extended deadlines on papers.

Eavesdrop On Other People… A Lot

During my first week of school, I only hung out at school or at my apartment (to be honest, this is still true. The Great British Bakeoff is a big deal.)

The way that I initially made friends was through my freshman mixer thing. I know, it probably sounds atrocious, but one of the people that I met (a guy who did sound and lighting for Welcome Week events) introduced me to my entire current friend group.

They all hang out in the student lounge and play video games. It’s great. I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place at first- one can only discuss the best characters in Smash for so long- but then I heard pieces of Intuitive conversation.

For example, I know two guys who regularly discuss the intricacies of murdering someone and hiding the body. They don’t do it in a weird, potentially dangerous way; They just discuss, in hypothetical detail, how to kill someone. (You know, something that everyone does).

I found out after a couple of weeks that one was an INTJ, and the other was an INTP. They’re interesting conversationalists, and because they were also upperclassmen, I was introduced to many of their friends (who are also NTs!)

If you’re at this paragraph and none of the things that I have suggested are helpful, fear not.

Between classes, clubs, and free time, I am sure you will be bound to meet one or two Intuitives. College, unlike high school, doesn’t have the same rules, and most other students will probably not notice any of your social blunders.

Everyone is too busy caring about their own stuff.

I’m sure that you will meet someone who is as weirdly involved with the entirety of the X-Files as you are. If nothing else, use college as an opportunity to do new things and develop a tolerance for cheap alcohol.

Showing 9 comments
  • Not John

    Wow. Great article. I have made literally all the friends. I have so many friends, we started a band and now defend our town from marauding motorcycle ninjas. Thanks for the quick tips Addison! Keep up the good work!

  • Stephen

    This is some really great advice! Though I think this advice would be more suited for NTs in college (I’m an ENTP). Then again, maybe NFs do have an easier time making friends, that this article was written specifically for NTs? Some specific suggestions I would throw in would be music ensembles like marching band, concert band, choir,… basically anything performance related. It’s so easy to make friends in these groups. If you don’t play a musical instrument but want to, it’s really easy to find people willing to teach.

    • Addison

      Hi! You’re right, I think that as an NT, I subconsciously wrote this for myself. I also didn’t think of musical groups or instruments. Thanks for the input (in true ENTP form)

      • Tommy

        Hey, I’m an NF but I was wondering how you have deep conversations with other intuitives or how you find out which of your friends are intuitive.

        • Addison Dunlap

          This is a really good question, and not one that I can answer with *total* confidence. It seems to be mostly a test of compatibility, though you can have that with Sensors. From my experience, if you have an Ne/Ni driver, really Intuitive conversation will come out. Some people (probably other Intuitives) will follow you, and others won’t. For me, it always comes out in discussing books. I have noticed that many of my friends were Intuitive through doing this, because books provide a place to be really abstract (themes, motivations of characters, complexity of language, symbolism). The same can be done with other things like movies or video games, though books are easiest. I think Intuitives also have those really long, rambling conversations that fragment off into six other ones. So I would try to keep an eye out for things like that, and if nothing else, you could have your friends take a test.

  • Reggie

    As a college student, I spent far too many nights at either frat parties or bars, hoping to make friends. I was largely because I was shopping at the wrong store, so to speak.

    More suggestions for the NT:
    * Game nights! Video gaming can be fun, but board games are both fun and social. Several guys I know met their spouses at a game night.
    * Movie nights hosted by Philosophy Dept will always lead to interesting conversations.

    * Socrates Cafe
    * Theology on Tap
    * Book discussion club
    * Maker space / Hacker space

    In general, to join in almost any conversation:
    * Watch an episode or two of whatever television shows are popular.
    * Know a thing or two about upcoming events in which others might find interest. This could be a concert, exhibit, or football game.
    * Try not to jump in solely to correct someone’s misstatement or inaccurate portrayal of events

    • Addison Dunlap

      Totally. All insightful suggestions, especially the last one… As someone who has a tendency to fact check people (and trying to stop), it doesn’t always go over too well when you tell someone they’re wrong without offering feedback. Your post-college suggestions are interesting, and also not things I’ve heard of (which is wonderful). What have your experiences been with Socrates Cafe? I have never heard of it, and it sounds like a lot of fun , which is an assumption I have made from a thirty-second google search.

  • Charlene

    By far my favorite way to meet Intuitives in college was to live in a cooperative (student-run) house. Everyone in these places has an extremely creative, independent, curious spirit. Co-ops attract pretty much only the most open-minded students on campus, so it is a very effective way to select for Intuitives.

    I’m not sure how many other colleges have cooperative/student-managed housing. But if you go to Stanford, spend at least one of your years there living in:
    576 Alvarado (Theta Chi),
    or EBF (Enchanted Broccoli Forest–yeah, I know)

    Co-ops are incredible places. You will be completely thrown, in the best way possible, by how different the people are from the rest of campus.

    • Addison

      That sounds great! We don’t have Co ops at my school, but they sound like a really good place to meet other Intuitives.

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