Linus’ tips for meeting people at uni
Eight guaranteed ways to make friends
Going to UTS College isn’t just about academics – it’s one of the best opportunities in life to meet a diverse range of people and develop long-lasting friendships. Movies and TV shows make it look difficult to make lots of friends your first year away, but don’t stress if you’re already worrying about how you’ll meet new people.
Trust us – this process will be awkward at times, but that’s okay. Here are eight tried-and-true tips for making new friends at uni.
1. Be yourself
Being yourself will guarantee that you’ll attract others with similar personalities, interests, and experiences as you. Don’t feel forced to change your personality or be more outgoing if it’s uncomfortable for you. Your future friends will gravitate towards your authenticity and appreciate you for who you really are.
2. Seek out chances to be social
There’s often lots of social events held specifically for new students at the beginning of the schoolyear, but don’t limit yourself to these opportunities. Say ‘yes’ to any invitation or situation where you’ll have a chance to meet new people, even if you’re not sure of what to expect when you get there. Say ‘yes’ to that dinner invite with your friend’s friends or rock up (Aussie-speak for ‘show up’) to that on-campus concert.
3. Live without limits
Meeting others who have different experiences than yourself is one of the beauties of living in a new place, so try not to close yourself off to potential relationships. Your entire friend circle doesn’t need to live in the same accommodation as you, be in the same program of study as you, or even be from the same country as you. Try to strike up a conversation with others who you wouldn’t normally cross paths with.
4. Be the initiator
If you see another group of students in a café, dining area or lounge space, don’t be afraid to approach them. They’ll most likely be welcoming and in search of new people to hang out with as well. Initiating contact with a group of people you don’t know is scary no matter how outgoing you are, but you could miss an opportunity to make a study buddy or new close friend if you don’t step outside your comfort zone. You’ll never know unless you try.
5. Get involved
You most likely have a lot of shared interests with your group of friends from home. At uni, joining a group activity, club or society is probably the best way to find people guaranteed to have at least one thing in common with you. Take advantage of the hundreds of social clubs, events and sporting activities offered by ActivateUTS, and use these gatherings as opportunities to meet new people.
6. Expect the unexpected
Whether you’re standing in line for a coffee, waiting for the bus or walking through campus, treat every moment as a chance to meet someone new. Think of all the times you’ve met your current friends – perhaps a lot of your first interactions were by random chance. Uni is no different. You’ll meet people in places where you’ll least expect to, so always remember to keep an open, friendly mind.
7. Keep the right perspectives
Remember, you’re not alone. As nervous as you may feel, your fellow classmates will most likely be feeling the exact same way. Be brave and remember that it may just be the first thing that you and a new friend already have in common.
8. Be kind to others, and yourself
Your first year won’t be the only time you’re allowed to make friends, nor will your first-year group of friends be the only friends you’ll make throughout your entire uni experience.
Try not to get too down if you aren’t making heaps of new friends right in the beginning. And remember, making friends and developing relationships takes time, so don’t be hard on yourself it takes a while to find your close group of mates.
Using these handy tips, you’ll make friends in no time. Think of it as an experiment and find out what works best for you and your comfort levels.
Be friendly, be yourself, and always keep an open mind – ask how someone’s day is going and see where the conversation goes! Meeting your new best friend, roommate or future work colleague could happen sooner than you think.