Making Friendships In Post-Secondary School
Making new friends doesn’t always come easy. Sometimes it’s just more comfortable to keep the old friends that we have instead of trying to meet anyone new. But, in the process of pursuing a post secondary education, it’s normal to become distant with old friends and want to make new ones. The question is how?
The most obvious answer is to get involved in your school community. That means joining clubs to meet people with similar interests or maybe even joining the student government and helping plan events. This is of course a sure fire way to meet new people and also socialize with these people frequently. Most likely, these clubs will have an activity for you to do so that you’re not stuck doing nothing, desperately trying to find something to talk about. It’s a good way to get out more and really be a part of your community.
However, joining clubs and student governments can be a bit of a commitment. In my personal experience, I joined many clubs during my first few weeks at university, however as work began to pile up, I stopped attending these clubs in order to prioritize school. In the end, I didn’t get to build a strong enough connection with the few people that I did meet in those clubs because I wasn’t able to attend enough club meetings.
Making Friends In Class
Another option is to just talk to the people next to you in class and maybe that’ll create a friendship in itself. If they’re in your class, you’ll have someone you can message if you miss a class and need notes. This is something that I attempted my first few weeks of university, however, it proved to be a sort of unrealistic way to make friends. If your classes are in big lecture halls like mine, you’re not guaranteed to have the same seat every time you come to class. This means that it’s hard to consistently talk to the same person each time. And unless you made a strong connection in that first conversation, they just become someone you’ve talked to instead of a new friend. Furthermore, there’s actually not a lot of time to talk during class if the teacher is lecturing the whole time. The effectiveness of this way to make friends really depends on the type of classes you take.
Making Friends and Improving Grades
An unconventional way that I’ve made friends is through getting school help. Typically, in university, professors provide office hours: times outside of class where you can see them and ask about the material you’re learning. My school also provides learning centers for specific subjects that are staffed with more teachers so that they’re able to help more students. However, as there are only a limited number of teachers and many students, I’m often stuck just waiting my turn to ask a question. But, this also allows me to ask my fellow students for help on problems and then return the favour. I found this to be a pretty organic way of talking to people and it ends up being beneficial to the both of us. We end up bonding over our mutual misunderstanding of the class and we both either get answers to our questions, or at least get someone to bounce ideas off of.
All in all, just starting a conversation is the best way to make new friendships. Whether you’re in a club, in class or getting help from a teacher, you’re not going to meet new people if you never try to engage with them. Most likely, they’re just like you. As long as you’re kind and open to the people you meet, it won’t be too difficult to make friends.