The friends you make during your university years are the friends you keep for a lifetime. You share and undergo similar experiences of growth and development that eventually bond you for life.
In my first year, I found it slightly difficult to make friends in lecture halls filled with 500 students, but I was lucky enough that I could live in residence with three other roommates who eventually became my dearest friends.
Don’t fret, there may be hope for you yet! If, like me, you find yourself struggling to come out of your shell, here are some ways that will help you overcome your shyness.
- Join student clubs and societies.
Whether it’s a culture-based student club or an academic society, getting involved in these extracurricular groups is a great way to broaden your networks. If you are in the same student group or club, chances are you at least share something in common. This could become a springboard for more conversations to get to know each other. You just might find friends who share the same interests and career paths as you.
- Join a sports team.
Whether it’s basketball or ping pong and quidditch, if you are good at playing a sport, there is a club for you. The team members will share similar interests, and you can easily bond through an exciting game or two.
- Talk to someone sitting next to you during lecture.
All it takes is someone to initiate the conversation. During 2-hour lectures, there is often a 10-minute break in which you can talk with the person sitting next to you. You just might learn something new about this person, and might even decide to exchange contact information to study together in the future. So, not being shy does pay off!
- Volunteer or get a part-time job.
There are so many opportunities for you to get involved on campus and off campus. Not only will you develop skills outside the classroom, these opportunities also expose you to many more people who might become good friends or acquaintances.
- Don’t lose contact with high school friends.
Sometimes you might be so caught up with making new friends at university that you completely lose contact with old friends back in high school. Even if you and your high school best friend don’t attend the same university, don’t forget the awesome memories you shared together and reminisce whenever you have time.