Want to know a secret?

Making new friends is a lot of fun!

What  would it be like to walk around your apartment complex, knowing you have a couple (or a lot) of friends you can count on for emergencies or just to hang out?

Even though moving into a new apartment is time-consuming, making new friends should lighten the load, quite literally.

It doesn’t matter if you’re not a social butterfly — push yourself out of your comfort zone. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised with the results.

It’s cliche, but be authentic and yourself. That’s the best policy.

After all, your apartment is more than just a place where you stash your stuff and hang your hat. You’re a part of a bigger community that’s full of residents who live there as well.

Check out these five excellent tips on how to start befriending people within your apartment community.

1. Smile and say hi

Yes, it’s that easy to smile and say, “hello.”

Remember, we just said that meeting new people is fun! That means smiling and greeting someone will go the distance.

If you just moved to the apartment complex and wish to meet new friends, it’s all the more important to greet people.

When you see people hanging out in the community areas, take the initiative and introduce yourself. If you’re caught up in moving the last of your boxes, at least smile.

Have you lived at your place a few months already? No problem!

When you walk to the mailbox to get your mail or wait by the bus stop near your complex, this is a perfect opportunity to make small talk. Find out if you have any common interests.

First impressions matter. Greeting other apartment residents is a great way to initiate social relationships moving forward.

What’s more, there are other ways you can “smile” and get to know neighbors, such as lending a hand or asking for help!

2. Set aside time to check out the complex

Your apartment complex may have tons of cool amenities, like hammocks and cafes. Familiarize yourself with facilities and have fun mingling and meeting new people.

If you just moved in and aren’t familiar with everything at the apartment community just yet, don’t be afraid to ask some questions.

While getting acquainted with the complex, you might ask a fellow resident which way it is to the gym or basketball court.

Most people like to help others, and asking a question can be the first step to building a friendly relationship.

On the flip side, if you notice one of your neighbors struggling to carry too many books or pizzas into their apartment, offer to lend a hand.

You never know who you may become friends with after helping them do something as simple as assisting them in carrying in food.

Need to get a tan? While you’re soaking in the rays in the poolside sunbed, you might meet someone. If you do, this is the perfect opportunity for you to converse about local community events, restaurants, or when the best time is to hit the pool.

You could also bake some cookies or brownies. Swing by the apartment community areas or outdoor pavilion and share them with your new neighbors.

Do this, and you’ll undoubtedly gain some brownie points!

Another area to bring some yummy food to is the study area at your apartment.

After all, students can always use a break from studying! Bringing a delicious snack to an area where everyone likes to mingle is an excellent icebreaker.

Simple acts of kindness are an excellent way to live life, and can also help facilitate friendly relationships.

Become a regular

3. Become a regular

This is a perfect way to meet new people!

Go to the same study booth lounge, outdoor fitness area, volleyball court, or study area repeatedly, and you’ll start to see the same faces.

It’ll be much easier to introduce yourself if you’ve been seeing the same person every day.

To break the ice tell the person hello a few times. Later, it’ll be more comfortable to ask if they’d like to play volleyball with you and your friends in the future — or for them to extend the invitation.

4. Find a common interest

Another way to befriend a neighbor is by recognizing what you have in common. 

One easy way is to compliment them. Complimenting someone not only makes them feel great, but you’re validating their choices.

You may also notice a fellow neighbor carrying a book by one of your favorite authors or a guitar. If you’re dying to make a comment about the book, or sing and play the guitar, both of these are perfect conversation starters.

Finding something in common is an excellent way to chat away, which in turn can turn into a friendship.

If you go to a university nearby, you may ask them if they’re in school and, if they are, what their focus is. Perhaps you go to the same school, take the same classes, or know similar people.

Ask generic questions so that they don’t feel bombarded. Don’t come on too strong by saying something like, “It’s great you’re out here all the time …” or “My friend noticed you have a nice car …”

No one wants to feel like you’re watching their every move.

5. Make future plans

If you befriend someone at your apartment complex, don’t be afraid to go out on a limb and ask if they want to hang out sometime.

You might have already established common interests, so continuing the conversation during an outing should be a lot of fun.

If you don’t know the person well but would like to get to know him or her better, ask if they want to spend time in the Gameday Room or Grilling Pavillion.

Keeping the event low-key will make it easier to connect while simultaneously meeting new people.

See, it wasn’t that hard making new friends, now was it?

If you’re a student whose campus is nearby your apartment home, then you’re in luck. You’ll likely meet other students at your complex who go to the same school.Follow these tips on how to meet and befriend your neighbors, and when the newbies move into the community, you can introduce them to your apartment buddies!