Creating friendships in university helps make your experience more enjoyable and memorable. Friends can help you with your school work, support you through exam season and encourage you to follow your dreams.
However, making new friends and putting yourself out there can be overwhelming. So if you find socializing difficult or uncomfortable, you're not alone!
Fortunately, we have some tips and tricks to help make building friendships easier:
1. Put yourself out there
Now that we are older, friendships do not just materialize out of thin air. Like in middle school, when they would happen simply because of proximity. Though you may be in the same class every week with the same people, you won't magically become friends with them without putting yourself out there.
You may be thinking, how does one do that without succumbing to the nerves, anxiety and fear of rejection?
Ironically, you may find it helpful to accept that not everyone will like you—and that's ok! It's ok if you don't click with everyone, and I promise you will find your people. When you aren't scared of being rejected, you may find that you are more willing to put yourself out there.
If you're unsure of where to start, joining a club is a great way to meet people who share your interests. If you see someone you would like to be friends with, don't hesitate to reach out!
2. Be yourself
Pretending to be something you're not, means the friendships you build will likely be unfulfilling; it is exhausting having to mask different parts of your personality just to be accepted. To build lasting and healthy friendships, it is important to be yourself.
Remember where you came from, what you stand for, who you are and who you want to be—go out there and be unapologetically you!
3. Be open to change
Conversely, you also want to be open to change and have the mindset that there is always room for personal growth. Trust me—it's like a rebirth every time you learn something new about yourself, so embrace it and don't be afraid to grow!
Though it can be uncomfortable, growth only comes when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone, which will certainly pay off in the long run.
Fortunately, friends can help you with this process. You can learn from their efforts and feedback, and adopt characteristics you admire about them. But again, it is important to avoid molding yourself into something you're not just to gain the approval of others.
3. Help each other out
It’s great to have healthy competition in your friendships. Your friends' strengths may be your weaknesses and vice versa. You'll grow by helping each other improve and being there for one another.
At the end of the day, everyone needs a little help sometimes. Find people that will be there for you no matter what, and be sure to do the same for them. You also have friendly support available to you through the Student Life services offered at Ontario Tech—don't be afraid to check them out!
Another important note is not to be scared to let people go. If something isn't enriching your life and helping you grow as a person, it may be time to invest in other things, and that's ok.
University is a new experience that can be made easier by reaching out and making friends. Hopefully, this blog has given you some tips on how to do that!
Want to learn more about life at Ontario Tech?