You just arrived on campus. Maybe it’s your first year, maybe you are abroad - and maybe you don’t know anyone yet. But fear not: Campus is just about the easiest place to make new friends! Here are our top 7 suggestions on how to meet people and make connections at university:
#7: Realise that you are not alone!
This may sound like a cliché, but it is true: You are not the only one feeling alone. You just moved to a new environment in which you know nobody (or almost nobody), especially if you are studying abroad. But most of your new fellow students are in the same boat. Keep that in mind, because it will make it much easier for yourself.
#6: Go to parties and events
This is self-explanatory. Go out, celebrate and meet people in a relaxed atmosphere.
#5: Be friendly, smile, say hello, and introduce yourself
When you are at university, even aside from student parties, there are plenty of occasions on which you will meet new people. Make the best of those! Instead of hiding yourself in the far corner of a room, be seen, introduce yourself, and smile. And if you are in a small talk situation, talk about hobbies. There is no better topic to see if you have something in common!
#4: Help a fellow student
Have you noticed the girl on campus who looks completely lost? Or the guy sitting next to you in the lecture who clearly has trouble with his pen and might need to borrow one? Be nice, ask if you can help. Chances are you could just make a friend right then and there.
#3: Ask a fellow student for help
What’s harder than helping a fellow student? Asking for a favour yourself! If you are lost on campus, missed last week’s lecture and need to get someone’s notes, or really desperately need a pen and don’t have one: Ask someone who seems nice. Maybe they are, and maybe you will meet them again.
#2: Join clubs and societies that you like
The easiest way of them all, the “low-hanging fruit” if you will: Join clubs and societies at your university! This is a fool-proof recipe for making friends. Not only do you get to spend your time doing something you enjoy - like football, chess, debating, speaking Spanish et cetera - you get to do it with people who also enjoy it. There is no way you are not going to find friends with whom you have lots in common if you join a club or two.
Especially British universities support this during a “Freshers Week” at the beginning of the semester: There are usually fairs at which you can easily meet people from all student clubs and sign up on the spot. And there is another neat side effect to engaging in extra-curricular activities: It looks great on your CV and will help you land a good job after graduation.
#1: Leave your comfort zone!
The most important thing to do if you want to make new friends is to leave your comfort zone. If you study Physics, then go to a party for Philosophy students for a change. Study at the library instead of your room (and maybe you will make more than just a friend, as libraries are known to be perfect flirting spots). Hang out at a bar you normally would not hang out at. And if you are studying abroad, make sure to not only hang out with people from your own country. In fact, limiting yourself to a circle of friends from your home country is an absolute no-go when you want to make the most out of your stay abroad. Finding international friends is one of the best and most rewarding experiences when you study in a foreign country.