Making new friends when starting postgraduate study can be nerve wracking.
Luckily for you we've got 8 simple ways to make the process of settling in and making friends a whole lot easier...
Confidence is Key Although entering a new environment where you don't know anyone can be a daunting experience, ensuring you are confident in your approach to people will make the whole ‘meeting new friends’ a breeze. Remember that everyone is in the same boat as you, and are probably just as nervous. Why not be the one to break the ice and get the ball rolling? A smile never goes amiss, and is a great way to make everyone feel at ease.
Open Your Door!
If you are living in shared accommodation, simply leaving your bedroom door open over the first few days will invite much more social interaction. Nothing could be easier! Open your door and let people know that there's a friendly face inside. Spark conversation by offering them a drink or showing them something of interest.
Attend Fresher’s Events Even if you think that you will not enjoy the events that are being hosted during fresher’s week , it is important to attend anyway as this is where a large majority of people meet and get acquainted. The chances are that if you are not enjoying a particular event, there will be other like minded people located around the room that are as equally uninterested, and that is something you share in common with them already! Whether you thrive on social events or not, you are sure to identify some potential friends at these soirees.
Say ‘Hi’ Simple yet effective. This has got to be the easiest way to make friends hasn't it? One simple word can make all the difference when you come across a new face in your house, class, or bar. Wherever you are, why not be the one to make the initial friendly gesture to those you encounter. The worst that could happen is that someone simply says 'hi' back and moves on with their day. It is more than likely that the person may actually feel inclined to strike up a real conversation with you, and who knows where that will lead?
Eat Meals with People Eating is an age old social event which always manages to bring people together and get them talking. Make an effort to invite people to go out to grab a bite to eat, or even arrange to cook some food for your housemates as this will create a great opportunity for you to get to know them a little better. If you eat in a dining hall, try to go in there at the same time as others so you don't have to eat alone. Making a habit of eating with a group of people every so often can be a great way to keep in touch.
Get a Part Time Job Getting a part time job in a local bar, restaurant or shop is one sure-fire way to meet new people. Co-workers more often than not end up being mates anyway. It's a super easy way to build relationships as there is no pressure for you to make an effort; you simply get to know them over time. The added bonus of meeting new friends this way is that you also earn some extra cash whilst you are at it!
Invite Others to Join In Get your flat mates or classmates to come and join you in the gym, swimming pool, aerobics class , or whatever it is that you would normally do alone. This is a great way to spend some time getting to know someone whilst doing what you enjoy. This is even better if you are nervous about starting some sort of class – you can invite someone along for moral support.
Facebook Met someone you got on well with, but aren't quite sure how to reconnect? Find them on Facebook. There really is no better way to interact, stay in touch, and build new relationships. Get social! Whether you are ‘liking’ pics, ‘sharing’ awesome resources, or commenting on status updates – being friendly has never been so easy.