Making New Friends
Messages from Role Models
Fireside Chat with Will Landon
"Some advice to people, to not be scared to try new things, to connect with different friends or to connect with different people. And of course not be scared when if people, if personalities clash, if you don't like somebody, or if somebody doesn't like you, that's totally fine. That's totally normal in life and in the journey and the journey of life. But you'll never find the people that you're meant to connect with unless you actually go out there and try to connect with them."
Fireside Chat with Jade Roberts
"So yeah, be brave and take that chance. And you'll find that when you move away you'll start to build a new community where you are. And I think that's something that really scared me, was, "I'm moving and I don't have anybody where I'm moving to." But it quickly turned out that I made so many friends that are now like family to me, and things work out the way that they're supposed to. You will find the people, you will find your community in a bigger city. And it might take time, you might be lonely, but you will find who you need to find and you'll make your own community where you are."
Fireside Chat with Alicia Morrow
"I didn't grow up with too many role models in my life, and so I think something I would truly say is fitting in is overrated. I spent so long trying to find where I fit in and find this place that I belong. I realized that I belong where I am in that moment. You change and you grow and you are whoever, but don't give up your beliefs to try fit in. Because like it will come in time and you might spend some time alone, but get comfortable with being alone. Then you will never have to try fit in anywhere else. I think something I wish someone told me, was loving yourself comes from within, and not trying to look for it with from anybody or from anything."
Tips & Tricks
Making new friends does not mean you have to start from scratch, think about who you might know in the area, someone you went to camp with or participated in a school exchange trip. Reconnect with these people, mention that you are headed to post secondary in their area. And even if they are headed to school somewhere else, they may be able to connect you with someone they know who is attending the same school as you. Meeting friends through friends. (The same goes for relatives as well. If their mom says come for dinner, go for dinner. It is a great way to have a sense of home away from home.)
Take part in events
There is almost always something happening around campus, and most of the time it is free! Attend workshops, food fairs, film screenings, sporting events, guest speakers, karaoke nights, craft nights, music events... Get out there! Say hi to people, try to strike up a conversation about the event. If you don't know what it is about, say you're new and you don't know what the event is about, and ask if they know much about it. BOOM! Conversation!
You arrive at class early, chat with a classmate you sit near. Waiting in line to see the professor, chat with the person waiting with you. You can meet people at the gym, in the student centre, at your campus job, at the library... These interactions do involve potentially initiating conversation, but start easy with "What are you studying?" or "Where are you from?". Sometimes it takes just that first conversation starter to begin a friendship.
Keep in mind, people change over time. You are not the same person you were when you were 5 or even 15.
This may mean letting go of people who are dragging you down, even if you have known them for 15 years. This can be difficult, but if every time you call them they leave you feeling bad about yourself or that going off to post secondary has somehow hurt them, then they are not a friend you need to keep in contact with.
Again, this may change with time, but right now you are doing what you want to do and what you feel is important, and their fear of change should not hold you back.
Step away from that friendship and work on building the new ones or the ones with friends who are supportive of you
Tools & Resources
Making Friends Outside Your Community
This may be the first time you have had to actively make friends since elementary, and it can be scary. Just remember that everyone is in a similar situation as you, they are nervous and anxious and wondering if people will like them. Just be yourself, take advantage of the activities and events happening on and around campus, you will meet so many people and begin to build relationships that could turn into lasting friendships.
This site has a lot of ideas on how to get yourself out there and start building those relationships.
How to Make Friends in College: A Comprehensive Guide
Talking to people you don't know or have just met can be overwhelming, especially if you are shy. Small Talk 101 for Shy People gives some really great advice, techniques and sample conversations to get you on the way to chatting with potential new friends.
"If you approach small talk with fear and trepidation, worried that you’ll be boring, you just well might be.
You should understand that you’re a worthy person with interesting things to say. Keep in mind that other people could well be in the same situation you are—just looking for someone to chat with. They’ll welcome you making an effort to get to know them by striking up a conversation."
Small Talk 101 for Shy People
How To Talk To Someone Who Is Shy
Maybe you don't have trouble talking to people, but you know someone who is super shy and might need support. Or you are trying really hard to make a connection with someone who is really shy but all your tricks aren't working. Check out this website for some tips on How To Talk To Someone Who's Shy, Quiet, Or Less Social.
Still Having Trouble Striking Up A Conversation?
Sometimes, no matter how much you prepare, or you feel confident, when you get into the moment you forget what you were going to talk about or how you had the prefect starter. DO NOT STRESS.
Here are some conversation starters that can help in almost any situation. Consider having some key ones in the notes section of your phone for those situations when you are at a loss for words.
250 Conversation Starters - Good Conversation Starters