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University brings out two emotions – excitement and anxious. It’s an exciting time when you move away from home and learn to be an independent adult. However, it’s also a very anxious time because hundreds of new people surround you and put you completely outside your comfort zone.
Attending university, even if you are at the same school as your current friends, is a great opportunity to expand your friendship circle. As the years continue, you’ll start to meet people who are more similar to you that may eventually be a life-long friend.
If you’re struggling to get out of your comfort zone and make a few university friends, here are seven tips to help you out.
When there are events hosted, whether it be on campus, off campus, or residential events, attending as many as you can at the beginning. They will help you meet people. Lots of times university will hold events for that purpose. So, pay attention to the posters around campus and see which ones interest you the most.
Sign Up For Clubs or Societies
You’ll notice right away that there is a club for almost every hobby and interest out there. These groups are an excellent way to meet like-minded people, and hang out with them in a more comfortable setting. They are also a good way for you to expand your horizon and try out something new.
Say Hello to Classmates
It can be utterly nerve-wracking for some to be the first to say hello, but that initial contact goes a long way. Try to strike up a conversation with people you sit beside in class or lectures. You’re both taking the same thing, so you already have something to talk about. They may also come in handy when it’s test time, and you need a study-buddy.
Hang Around Communal Areas
Especially if you live in residence, spend some time in the communal areas where other people gather. If you spend most of your time hiding in your bedroom, it will get difficult to meet anyone like that. Sometimes, getting out of your comfort zone means putting yourself out there to meet friends. A communal area is a more comfortable way of doing that.
Be Open and Nice
Although this is usually more common sense for the first time meeting people, it’s still an excellent reminder to be nice to everyone. It will be hard to develop friendships if you’re negative all the time. A smile and a compliment will go a long way when you’re first developing a friendship.
If you have a “type” of a friend in mind, throw that out the window. There is so much diversity in university that you’ll soon notice that there isn’t really a criteria for making friends. Someone who may not seem like a type of person you would usually hang out with could end up being the best friend you’ve ever had.
You’re only going to learn more about someone and grow closer if you ask questions about them. Start off with simple questions, like what classes they are taking or what they plan on majoring in. Once you feel a bit more comfortable, you can start asking the questions that lead to a real friendship.
Realize You Are Not Alone
When in doubt, remember that you are not the only one who is looking for friendships at university. There’s a high chance that the majority of people around you are going through the same thing. It might help take off the edge a bit if you remind yourself that the person you say high to could be in the same position as you.
Kailey graduated with a degree in Journalism and Religious Studies from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan. Now she lives a double life in Manitoba – writer by day and dance teacher by night. When she’s not at her computer, you’ll find her curled up with a glass of red wine and knitting, or obsessively taking photos of her puppy.🐶🐾
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