Freshers, you’ve just stepped into a new and enticing world. There are all these possibilities and this is the beginning of your adult life. It should feel both scary and amazing. You’re adults now, completely certified adults who are going to make a difference in the world somehow.
But nobody gets through University Life without making friends.
Chances are you’re an introvert and hate making new friends because you’re too shy. You could also be an extrovert, and have no real problem with meeting new people. But trust me; a few tips here and there never hurt anybody!
- Stick to familiar faces
Do you see that kid sitting in that one lecture you have at the main gate? Well, there they are again, in that other lecture on the other side of campus! Oh, and there they are talking to a few of your course mates at a table in the canteen. You’ve seen them around, you probably know their name from being in two classes together. They probably know who you are too. Go up and say hi! Friends in your course are always good to have – who else are you going to ask for notes when you need to bum off someone, or maybe advice on that last paper you have to write that you can’t get right? Who would be better than someone going through the same scrutiny as you?
- Wear shirts that show off your interests
…Or scarves or laptop skins. Show off what you like! Are you a Potterhead and have a scarf that shows off your house? Do you have a t-shirt with ‘I am SHERlocked’ written on it? Is there a large Lannister Lion sticker on your laptop skin? Show them off! People love to talk about the things they watch and read just as much as you do, and you will make so many new friends simply by saying ‘Oh yeah, I watch that too’. The look on their faces when they realize they’ve found another fan is always priceless, and leads to countless hours of conversation and debate over which of the Pretty Little Liars is the most interesting, or why Snape was both a good and a bad guy, or which George R R Martin character truly belongs on the Iron Throne.
- Go to events
Try your best to go to events organized by your faculty. The MMSA regularly organizes parties and talks, S-Cubed aren’t scarce of activities either. Free talks are also a great way to end up talking to that one girl in your course you never really got the chance to get to know past the casual ‘Hey’ or ‘Morning’, and taking part in things at University also helps keep you a little bit busy and gives you a change of pace. And while you’re at it, why not try auditioning for StudentFest? Or maybe join a club or group? Meeting people with similar interests as you is always a fresh air, and having friends from other faculties is always nice.
- Frequent the popular student locations
One of the best ways to be around people is to go to places where food is served. And this will always apply to any situation. Ever. Go where food is, and you’re guaranteed to meet someone you know. Besides, what better common denominator to bring people together than food?!
- Be a nice person
You never make friends if you give off the aura of somebody who doesn’t want to, or somebody who wants to be left alone.* Be nice to others! If someone waves to you, wave back. If someone nods at you and smiles, repeat the gesture back, show them that you appreciate it. When people come up to you to talk to you, try and talk back.† The key to making new friends is showing that you yourself are willing to make them. So swallow your shyness and your inhibitions and trust that, honestly, these people are probably as scared of making new friends as you are!
Now, go out into that bright new campus! The sun is shining, the birds are singing (wait, no, that’s just some out-of-tune, tone deaf guy with a guitar trying to impress girls) and this is the start of your brand new journey.
Make the most of it.
* I understand that there are people out there who prefer to be alone. I am not in any way condemning them and saying that they are wrong. To each his own. There’s nothing wrong with being happy with your own company.
† I also understand that this might be a problem for introverts. Be patient with yourself and try your hardest. Remember, your best (at socializing) is always enough.