Ask Iman: The second group of newbies

Dear Iman,

Although this question seems to be everywhere, no one ever truly answers it. How exactly are second years who are only now beginning to get to campus supposed to find friends? What would you suggest?

That’s an amazing question, reader. The thing is, I don’t really know.

I was really lucky to be able to move to campus in the middle of my first year (in the midst of the pandemic), but I know that not everybody had the same opportunity. Making friends can be intimidating and difficult, but it doesn’t always have to be.

Go to class, you hooligans!

One surefire way to make friends is to go to class! I know, I know, it’s class. But it’s class!

You’ll have people who are interested in the same things you are, and they might be in your faculty or major which is always nice. Making friends in an academic setting is always a safe and surefire way to create a community on campus.

Introduce yourself to your classmates, especially those in your tutorials. You’ll spend tons of time with them in class, so they might as well know how to say your name.

Even if these friendships never surpass the level of class acquaintances, at least you’ll still have someone to cry about your final paper with and to give you notes when you skip class to go to Whistler (which you definitely, totally under no circumstances should do).

Clubs, clubs, clubs and more clubs

Being involved in clubs, student societies and our very own student newspaper has allowed me to make friends at school.

Again, here you’ll meet tons of people with similar interests but you’ll also meet people outside of a strictly academic setting. I feel that in a club, or in The Ubyssey’s case, a cult (I’M JOKING. Not really, though) setting, I can be more myself which means that I can make way too many jokes that make no sense and that I can talk about how Pitch Perfect is the best film of all time.

But for real, going to clubs and trying new things through these clubs has allowed me to create so many connections with super cool people! Though I’m not besties with all of them, they’re still my friends.

I think that the goal of making friends isn't to find a few besties but to open up your social circle and to create connections with people you wouldn't have otherwise.

I live here.

Living in student residence is also another great way to make friends. A lot of my friends from my first year I met in residence either by chance, through group chats or through a friend of a friend.

If you live in first-year residence, go and eat at your dining hall. I know, it’s stressful and honestly kind of shitty to go alone, but that’s how I met some of my friends! People will sit beside you. Why? Because everyone is in the same boat! Damn, take a shot every time I say that in an Ask Iman (hint: the count is at four).

If you’re in upper-year residence, occasionally go to a floor event or make an effort to get to know and spend time with your roommates. Even if you don’t make friends at your floor events, you’ll probably get to get some free stuff and get to hang out with your RA, which is nice when they’re cool! And let’s say you don’t become besties with your roommates, but since you’re friendly, you’ll have fewer issues with them throughout the year (and beyond)!

The bottom line

Making friends can be a pain in the ass but it doesn't always have to be. By putting yourself out there, as scary as it can be, you can broaden your horizons to different communities and people from varying backgrounds.

By throwing yourself into school, work, clubs and residence life, you will be able to meet so many people! And if you want to meet a whole bunch of journalism nerds and join a cult that’s not a cult but is a cult, volunteer for The Ubyssey!

You’re doing great. Keep it up!

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