Tips on Making Friends in University

Graphics and Words by Caitlin Chuah

I remember my first day of university. I told myself that I was going to walk up to as many people as I could and make friends with them. However, as I walked into those gates and saw a throng of unfamiliar faces, my social anxiety said no, and I ended up with zero new acquaintances that day.

If you’re like me and need a more passive and natural way to make friends, then you’ve come to the right place! Below are some of the best tips on making friends in university.

Join Clubs and Societies

This is probably the most obvious one, but joining clubs and societies will allow you to meet and mingle with many other students. It is likely that you will have similar interests with them, as to why you joined that specific club, thus making conversing a lot easier. One more thing, do not be afraid to initiate hangouts with your club friends after class. Spending time with them in a non-university setting will allow you to become closer and more comfortable with each other.

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Join Online Groups

Many universities have online groups on Facebook and other social media apps where “freshers”, new students, can get to know one another. Feel free to do some “stalking”, add/follow some people and message them. There’s no shame in reaching out to make friends! Remember, you’re all in the same boat. Moreover, these online groups are not only useful for making friends, but also allow you to ask any questions you might have, as there will usually be seniors and faculty staff within those online groups to help.

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Hangout in Communal Spaces

Have some assignments you need to get done? Instead of working alone in your dorm room, head down to a communal space such as the library, parks or cafes on campus and get your work done there. Mingling in your university’s communal spaces is a great way to meet new people, as it gives you a chance to chat with others and let other students approach you. On the other hand, sulking in your room all day gives the opposite effect.

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Participate/Volunteer in Campus Events

Almost all universities have their fair-share of events. Whether it’s orientation (I know many students like to skip it, don’t!), a workshop, a fundraising event or possibly something fun such as a dinner mixer, be sure to keep a look out for these events and attend regularly. You could also opt to volunteer at these events, helping with the setup and organizing, which allows you to socialise with other volunteers during the process. Some universities even have on-campus jobs, such as working in the campus café or student centre. This is another great way to meet new people while earning some pocket money.

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