While the information you learn at uni will help you to get a job in your desired field, the friendships you make are just as important and can help shape your overall uni experience.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first semester or your last semester, it’s always a good idea to find ways to enrich your social life. Making friends can be difficult and sometimes it’s not as easy as becoming best friends with the person you sit next to on your first day. But we've provided some ideas about how you can meet new people and enjoy what uni life has to offer with a few more mates at your side.
Don’t be afraid to say hello
If you’re waiting outside for your class to begin, say hello to another person who’s also waiting, or say hello to the person you’re sitting next to in class. They may feel just as nervous as you and will probably feel relieved that you’ve started up the conversation. If you’re taking your classes online, that might be a little trickier, but if your classes are on Zoom and you're split into breakout groups, make the most of the time you have and ask your classmates some questions and get to know them a bit more.
Attend your orientation week
If you're able to attend your orientation week in person then make the most of it. By going to the events and participating in any activities that are hosted, you'll gradually get to know people's faces and names and may come across them again in your classes.
Join a uni club
You’ll be able to meet heaps of like-minded people by joining a few uni clubs or groups. Find one that peaks your interest, whether that’s a language club, sporting team or book club, your uni should have an extensive list of clubs to join. If you’re completing uni online, some clubs host online events which you can easily be a part of and so you'll get to avoid FOMO.
Not only will you be giving back and contributing to your community, but volunteering is a great way to meet people who also hold similar values. Try volunteering at your university. You could also try volunteering for services in your local area, such as your local animal shelter, environmental group or help out at your local library.
Step outside your comfort zone
When you try something new and go beyond the familiar, you’re more likely to expand your social circle. If you’ve always wanted to try theatre, audition for a role or try some backstage work, go to networking events in person if it’s safe to do so or try out online events. Not only will it allow you to meet new people but you’ll also be cultivating your sense of courage and you'll be developing new skills along the way.
Get to know your housemates
If you live on campus or with a housemate or two, get to know them and ask questions beyond normal small talk. Get to know what their interests are as you may have things in common, or they could easily introduce you to something new. Invite them to see a show or go to an event that you both will enjoy.
Seek support if you need it
If you’re finding it difficult to make friends and it’s getting you down, it’s okay to seek support. Making close friends takes time and can make you feel vulnerable, but there are various support options for you to utilise including your uni counselling service, your GP and Sonder.
If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.
Image credit: Devin Avery on Unsplash
All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.