By Marie Miguel
Going away for university can be both incredibly exciting and quite overwhelming. Whether you’re going to school with friends you already know or not, meeting new people is always a good idea.
Luckily, most universities have so many programs set up to help facilitate that experience! In many cases, it’s just a matter of knowing where to go and when to find like-minded individuals you can truly bond with.
If you’re bouncing off the walls with excitement, you might still be unsure of how to meet new people. Of course, most people want to meet new people, but they might not know how, especially in a completely new environment.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to some common ways most universities promote mingling. Even if you have to take matters into your own hands, keep the following ideas in mind to help make the process easier.
If you are especially nervous to make the transition, consider getting assistance from a professional counselor at BetterHelp. The counselors at BetterHelp can help you navigate your anxieties and provide advice tailored to your circumstance to help you achieve long-term success.
On Campus Housing
If you’re attending a university with on campus housing and you are able to stay in a dormitory, do it, at least in your first year.
Living in on campus housing is an automatic way to meet new people. Often, they will also be people in your same year.
Most on campus housing situations will also require a resident assistant (RA), who is an older student responsible for keeping your floor in check, answering questions, hosting events, and taking care of any crises.
Your housing situation can be a great way to meet new people. While you’re home, you can even leave your door open (if you’re comfortable with that) to encourage others to knock and introduce themselves.
Club or Involvement Fair
In the beginning of the school year most universities will host a club fair to give new students the opportunity to learn about all the student-run clubs.
This is a perfect opportunity to learn more about student activity and find people with similar interests.
You don’t have to commit to a club right away, but just meeting like-minded people will likely be a great way to make new friends.
If you’re an athlete but you are not playing for the university, many universities have club or intramural (IM) sport teams.
These are usually a little less intense and made up of people who love the sport but do not want the sport to encompass their entire life.
If you think Greek life might be a good choice for you, go through the rush process and learn about the fraternities or sororities that the university has to offer.
You don’t have to finish the process or commit in any long term capacity, but it can be a cool way to meet new people and might be the way you find a home in the university.
Spending time with a variety of different people through greek life can be more than just a social opportunity. It can be philanthropic, and a good networking opportunity down the line.
Your Major or Area of Study
Sure, making friends outside the classroom might be easy, but why not try for in the classroom as well?
If your major is relatively small, get to know your fellow classmates. If there are a lot of people in your major, try to pay attention to people who might be in more than one class with you.
Suggest post-class coffee, or create a study group. Often, the best places to find people who can change our world are the ones right in front of us, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!