Making Friends at University
University is one of the easiest places to make friends. Thousands of peers take their classes every day, most of whom are open to meeting people. Of course, that can seem daunting if you’re at university and struggling with being social. You may feel like there’s supposedly something wrong with you for having difficulty with such an easy task.
Finding potential friends in university is a lot easier than most people think, because there are tons of opportunities to meet people. It may feel a bit awkward at first especially when it comes to taking initiative, as it maybe the fact that some students never have had a lot of friends or happened into their social circle by luck. It could be that some have hung out with the same people since their childhood, whether that be by maintaining a childhood friend from the neighborhood and growing that friendship to share videogames or becoming friends with a group in high school and sharing an activity without realizing it. Now that you’re in a new environment you may not know how to create a social circle and may even think it’s just something that will happen passively.
A majority of students don’t realize they’re not alone in all this, everyone feels at least a bit nervous, awkward and overwhelmed.
Here are 3 simple tips to ease the uncertainty and help you get through the first few weeks of university!
- Everyone is out of their element. A majority of your peers, including yourself, will be in unfamiliar surroundings. It’s understandable that you will be feeling awkward and uncertain when you first start university, but so is everyone else. Many students seemingly put on a brave face and appear confident; however, nervousness doesn’t show as much as you’ve been lead to believe. Avoid the stress of comparing your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel!
- Go to O-Week. This may seem plain obvious but it’s often overlooked. Orientation week is one of the first steps to putting yourself in places where potential friends are, and for a lot of people it’s their first step in initiating social relationships in university. There will be plenty of other students from your faculty as well as older students acting as guides. Talking to peers may not be easy at first so I suggest talking to the guides to get the ball rolling. O week may also seem a bit hectic and overwhelming, but this is the one thing I advise to go to. It’s good to get out of that comfort zone!
- Talk to everyone you can. Ok, this may seem to be a step up from the first two tips but remember everyone else is out of their comfort zone and it’s likely everyone is feeling a bit awkward. Having an open mind that university is just starting for not just yourself but everyone around you makes it easier to start conversations. Not all conversations will lead to lasting friendships but you might be surprised to find peers that share the same love of sneakers, tv shows or hobbies.
This is especially rings true as Michael Scott from The Office once quoted Wayne Gretzky “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Now take the initiative and good luck!
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