If I had a dollar for every time I’ve worried about making friends here at uni…
I would’ve been able to pay my fees for the next three years on the first day.
However, I also didn’t want to spend the next three years alone, so the night before classes started,
I made a list of things I’d do to get out of my comfort zone.
Five weeks and many new friends later, I’d like to think that it worked.
So for all the socially awkward shy kids out there, this one’s for you!
1. Practice makes perfect!
Talking to new people – or just trying to get to know others better can be scary. One way to avoid the awkwardly long pauses in a conversation is to practice it beforehand! Introducing yourself in front of your mirror at home is one way to start, and when you feel comfortable enough, take that into the real world! Simple things like your name, where you come from and what you love to do are easy ways to start up a conversation with someone.
2. Talk to strangers! (Even if your mom told you not to!)
Introducing yourself to the people you sit next to in lectures, tutorials and labs is a great way to start when actively pursuing friends is a bit much for you. Sure, we’re already halfway through the semester, but it’s never too late to start. It’s scary the first time, but trust me, it gets easier every single time you do it. You never know, the cute guy or girl you sit next to but never talk to during that class might just be waiting for you to start the conversation.
3. Clubs, and groups, and societies, oh my!
Joining clubs you’re passionate about is honestly a great way to get to know people you’ll share common interests with! Having shared interests might also make it easier to start conversations with people, and club meetings will – in a way – force you to put yourself out into the world with other people once a week.
4. Meals aren’t fun alone, grab a pal while you’re at it!
Alright, once you’ve introduced yourself to someone, getting to know them is the next step. Drop them a text one day and ask them to eat with you, yes it’s 10/10 scary as heck but if they’re down for it, that’s great! Here are some interesting things to talk about to bond over lunch;
- Music; what do they love/hate? their favourite song at the moment?
- TV; are they a movies/Netflix/anime person? what’s their go-to binge-watching series?
- Life; what’re their hobbies?/what are they passionate about?/what’s something they couldn’t live without?
You get the idea; these are just some general topics to start off. Don’t worry if you run out of things to talk about though, you are at lunch, after all. Just relax, and enjoy the food and company.
5. It’s okay to make mistakes!
We’re only human, and it’s fine if you slip up. Being awkward is totally natural and you shouldn’t be embarrassed to have derpy moments every now and again. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep your head held high! I hope this article helps y’all. You can rock this!