Making Friends in Nursing School? It’s Easier Than You Think
If you are considering nursing or are already in nursing school, you know it will be quite the task. What’s even more daunting is the thought of being on your own with all these challenges.
Having friends in nursing school can make a big difference. But how do you make friends in your nursing program? No worries. In this article, you will learn tips to establish these relationships, the advantages of having friends in nursing school, and the challenges of finding new friends.
How to Form Friendships in Your Nursing Program
It’s not always easy to make friends in an environment that can be competitive at times. You have to remember that your classmates probably have the same feelings as you. They don’t know either what to expect and how to approach other people. Why don’t you make the first move?
Introduce yourself in the first few days of school. This is a time in which you can get a feel for different people in your class. The beginning of the program is an excellent time to approach people and strike up conversations randomly.
Start with the people sitting next to you, in front of you or behind you.
You don’t have to start a conversation yet, but a simple introduction leaves a friendly impression on your peers and lays the basis for starting conversations later.
Come to class a few minutes early. There are always students that arrive to class early. This is a great time to start a conversation and to get to know your classmates better. You can ask questions about homework assignments or the upcoming lecture.
Try to ask open-ended questions, so your peers have to expand on their answers. With a closed-ended question, they can simply answer with “yes” or “no.”
Start your questions with “what,” “when,” “where,” or “how.” That way, the person has to elaborate on their answer.
Find more opportunities to talk to your classmates: expose yourself to many situations where you have to talk to other students. Interacting with peers is a skill; it comes more naturally to some, and others have to practice. Treat it like you were practicing any skill; you have to repeat it multiple times to master it.
The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become. There are plenty of opportunities in nursing school to talk to classmates and strike up conversations.
- In class during group projects
- In clinicals
- When joining a study group
- Waiting in line for skills check-off
- Before class starts
- After class
- During class breaks
As you can see, you have to learn to recognize these opportunities. Once you find them, you need to make it a habit to talk to people. It might feel awkward at first, but the more you do it, the easier it gets – just like any habit or skill.
Talk to one person at a time: set a realistic goal so that you can achieve that goal even if you are an introvert. Start with one person. That’s it—one person. Approach one student in your class and ask him or her a simple question.
Ask questions that relate to nursing school. Try to bring up a subject that is relatable for that person. For example, you could talk about assignments, upcoming tests, or your expectations for clinicals. Anything that is nursing school-related will work.
Doing this every day will make you get used to talking to other people and making you more comfortable. Soon you won’t be scared anymore to talk to any of your classmates.
Reach out for help and offer help: Ask for help if you are not sure about an assignment. Asking someone for help shows that you have confidence in that person solving your problem; that’s a compliment. Most students are glad to help and feel flattered that you asked them.
You can also offer your help to others if you have a good understanding of a specific topic. Students that struggle will be glad you take the time to make them understand the subject better.
Give everyone a chance. Even if someone does not look like you would typically befriend, at least talk to someone a couple of times before you make a final decision. Talk to peers that you usually wouldn’t talk to. Remember that everyone feels awkward and doesn’t quite know what to say. Don’t count too much on first impressions. It takes time to get to know people.
Give it time. It will take some time to form new friendships. With each semester, your classroom seating will change, your clinical group will change, students will leave the program, and others will join along the way. All these circumstances will change the group dynamic in your class and allow opportunities to bond with other peers.
Content shared from RNlessons website