The Ultimate Guide to Making Friends at Uni
We’ve all been there — you were the big fish in the small pond in your last year of high school, and now suddenly you’ve been thrust into the Atlantic Ocean that is university. If you’re lucky, you might know a few people going to uni with you, but for most of us, one of the most stress-inducing parts of going to uni is making new friends. Fear not; I have compiled for you the 5 fool-proof, tried and tested methods to make friends in your first year.
1. Actually Attend Classes
Shocker, I know. One of the simplest ways to get to know people in your course is to actually turn up to classes (even if they’re virtual). After a few weeks, you’ll inevitably bond with your classmates, especially if you make the effort to greet them every now and then.
Pro tip: break the ice by asking the person next to you “Hey, do you know what we are supposed to be doing right now?”. They’ll either respond helpfully and you will learn something, or you’ll bond over the fact that you’re both confused AF.
2. Make the Most of First Year Events
Help us help you. Faculties and societies at UTS have entire events dedicated to welcoming first-year students (and if they’re on campus, they will probably have free food and/ or a bar tab, so honestly, what do you have to lose?). Some of my closest uni friends are people that I met at ‘welcome nights’ hosted by societies in my first year, so make sure to check out the society Facebook pages and see what’s happening.
3. Create a Study Group
If you followed step 1 and have now
managed to meet some of your class-mates, why not go one step further and hold a study sesh outside of class?
It’s the ultimate win-win: you’re getting to know your classmates better, and you might get some work done too. But where should we host our study sesh, I hear you ask? Personally, my fave locations at UTS are:
Building 2 (Central)
The newest UTS building and the most aesthetically appealing by far (no, this is not up for debate). It has heaps of group study spaces, just make sure you book if you want a study room as they go quick!
Building 11 (FEIT)
So I may be a little biased as an Engineering student, but Building 11 is severely underrated. There are so many levels, you’re bound to find somewhere that works for you.
Take advantage of UTS’ only patch of greenery and host your study group outside. Bonus points for being COVID-safe.
4. Merge your Friend Circles
Hear me out: one of the most efficient ways to make friends is to become friends with your friends’ friends. If you make two new friends, and they each make two new friends, BOOM — that’s six potential new friends you could have if you organise a group hang out. Work smarter, not harder. Post-class drinks at the Underground perhaps? Or, look out for student discounts around the city, there’s plenty on offer.
5. Fake it till you Make it
Let’s be real, nobody wants to be the one to start the conversation, but when somebody does, it makes life a whole lot easier. Energy is contagious; try putting on a fake extrovert hat for a day and start some conversations — soon you’ll be making friends in no time. People will be relieved that you broke the ice and will probably continue the conversation until you find something in common, and BAM — you got it. A little confidence goes a long way.
Making new friends is hard at any point in life, but with a whole new environment (plus, you know, a pandemic), it can seem super over-whelming. Cut yourself some slack you’re doing great, and it might take some time but it’ll all work out. Just remember that everyone is in the same boat. In-class icebreakers are always going to be awkward (get your fun fact ready now), but who knows — some of your future best friends might be out there waiting! Good luck!