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Posted Sept. 24, 2014

Meeting New People: Tips for Shy Postgrads

 Meeting people of all ages and backgrounds is just one of the many great things about becoming a postgrad. Being part of a large student community grants you the chance to build friendships with likeminded people, who you will undoubtedly keep in touch with for many years to come. But if you are shy, introducing yourself to new people can be a daunting prospect, so here are a few tips that can help you to find new friends, and make your life as a postgrad even more enjoyable.

Get to know the people in your accommodation If you live in halls, you will undoubtedly bump into fellow students on a daily basis. A smile and a friendly greeting never goes amiss, and is a great way to make yourself and everyone else feel at ease.

Open your mind to new activities The choice of sports clubs and societies at your university is likely to be endless so make the most of the opportunities on offer to you and sign up to all the activities that take your fancy. Whether you have always wanted to try your hand at Buddhist meditation or Bhangra dancing, you may be able to attend a free, no-obligation taster session before you sign up.

Try your hand at volunteering Your university will be able to provide you with a list of local charities and groups who would welcome new volunteers. Whether you want to gain new skills to enhance your CV or simply wish to make a difference in your locality, give volunteering a go. It is a fantastic way to meet people with common interests and partake in fun and fulfilling activities in your spare time.

Spare a thought for those for whom English is a second language Many students find it difficult to adjust to university life, especially those who speak English as a second language. If you go out of your way to introduce yourself to them, you may find that they are just as keen to make new friends as you are.

Remember that patience is a virtue It can take a while to truly get to know people, so take it easy and do not be too hard on yourself if you do not find yourself surrounded by friends straight away. Remember that friendships are built on communication, so if you get on well with someone, check in with them from time to time and they will start to recognise your face as familiar.

Finding the courage to introduce yourself to new people can be a challenge, but it helps to remember that you are not alone. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of postgrads across the country who are finding it difficult to make new friends, but if you can find it within you to make the effort to identify at least one potential new friend and strike up a conversation, you will soon be on your way to forging a firm friendship.
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