“The easiest way to meet other students is to join a club or society”. Student life is enriched by strong and worthwhile friendships. Student Ambassador Janika Engelhardt shares her top tips for making friends in a new place!
How To Make Friends In College
The best ways to meet many new people in the college environment.
Studying abroad is the dream of many students around the world. As a new student in a new city or country, you want to meet as many people as possible to really get to know other are likely to spend a lot of your time, so it is also your first port of call for connecting with people and making friends. So here are the things that worked best for me when making friends.
- Put Yourself Out There
The most important thing to remember is that you must actively approach people. This might be out of your comfort zone, it certainly was out of mine, but you cannot wait for somebody to talk to you if you want to make friends. And trust me, most of the time it ends up being not as bad as you thought.
Secondly, you should try to not surround yourself with people from your home country too much. Its understandably nice to have something familiar in a strange surrounding and its totally okay to sometimes spend time with those people. However, people tend to become comfortable in their cultural bubbles and not try to meet students from other countries.
- Clubs and Socs
The easiest way to meet other students is to join a club or society. These are usually free or really cheap since they are sponsored and promoted by the colleges. The Clubs and Socs often have a theme or a topic the revolve around for example Basketball Club or Business Society. It’s the easiest way to meet students who are interested in the same things as you are, and participants are always welcome. It is also a lot of fun.
- Events and Trips
Another thing colleges often offer are events and trips. The Dublin Business School ran a lot of them in the past semester to get students engaged. They planned all kinds of events such as parties, game, movie, and karaoke nights and hiking and surf trips. Just a couple of days ago we went on a trip to Belfast to visit the Titanic Museum and the Christmas market.
- Common Areas
Common areas are a place where all the students tend to hang around between classes and sometimes after as well. Even if you don´t feel comfortable in a vibrant environment such as a common room, you can go to other shared spaces such as study rooms of the college cafeteria. Obviously, it is harder to engage in conversations there, but you would be surprised how many people you can meet during an intense study session in the library.
- Join the Students´ Union
I joined the Students´ Union in order to be more involved with campus life and I honestly have to say that it was one of the best decisions I made since coming to Dublin. The Students´ Union organises all the events and trips and is also the voice for the student body. Therefore, it sometimes can be stressful and a lot of work. However, all the people in the union are honestly some of the nicest people I have ever met in my entire life and working with them never feels like I am working.
So, whatever you are interested in, let it be a sport or an academic profession, the college offers something for everybody to get involved. And if not, just open your own club or society dedicated to what you are interested in, the student body will always support you.
Janika Engelhardt is studying Marketing at Dublin Business School