Are you alone?
‘Let’s go for lunch!’
Does it sound unfamiliar to you?
When was the last time you had lunch or dinner with your friends on campus? If you belong to the group of people who find it hard to develop a stable circle of friends, you are the audience of this article. Do you want to stop being alone and lonely in university? Do you want to make friends in an easy and meaningful way? Digital Senior has some tips in stock for you.
More people = more friends?
The universities in Singapore typically have more than 20k students on campus. However, having more people on campus doesn’t make it easier for you to find friends. That just means there is a larger pool of strangers. What you need to do is to turn strangers into friends. However, where do you begin the process? It all begins with finding the right community. Let’s dive into the 4 places you can look at to find Best Friends Forever.
What’s your CCA?
There are many kinds of communities in a university. Perhaps the most obvious one is the various student clubs. A big part of a student’s life is participating in one or more student clubs that they can identify with. They are great places for you to make friends. People inside already have a common interest related to the purposes of the clubs. Most clubs have regular meetings or various projects/activities that are opportunities for bonding to develop. Hence if you find it hard to make friends, join one or more student societies that you find interesting. It’s so much easier to talk to ‘strangers’ who have a common interest. You may just end up chatting for days on end, but you typically don’t break the ice with a deep topic such as ‘how many family members do you have?’. Instead, try to start a conversation by asking ‘how did you find out this club?’ Or ‘what makes you join the club?’ These are great conversation starters for you to talk to strangers who are potentially your friends.
Making friends in the class
Besides student clubs, the classroom is an often overlooked place for making friends. Some people come into a class with the sole purpose to study. The only meaningful interaction they may have is probably with their professors. Obviously, they are under-utilizing the people resource in a class. Just like a club, people in a class already share some common characteristics. Use it to your advantage as ice-breakers, for example, simply asking for clarification on what was mentioned in class can jumpstart a long-lasting friendship.
Probably they are your fellow faculty-mates or probably you have the same interest in what is taught in the class. Such similarity offers sufficient reason for you to know each other better. Talk to people at the same table. If your tablemates are shy, then you can take the initiative to start self-introduction. Lastly, class projects also offer a valuable chance for you to know more people. Since a typical class project lasts for at least two weeks, you may want to invite all teammates for lunch before you start the project discussion. There are plenty of opportunities for you to know them beyond the setting of a class.
Be surprised by new people
If you pay attention to the happenings on campus, you’ll realize there are many kinds of activities/projects/competitions that are not attached to a particular club. They are open for participation by the entire student population. Don’t miss those chances of meeting someone from a totally different background. For example, you may want to sign up for a competition and your friends introduce their friends to the team so that you have a complete team for participation. If you can’t find enough people, sometimes the organizers will help you pair up. Moreover, if you have time during the holidays, you may want to consider some overseas projects, such as study trips or community service projects. Spending a few weeks in a foreign country effectively strengthens bonding and you may return to Singapore becoming lifelong friends. Who knows?
Your hall is your extended family
Lastly, if you stay in a student hall, all your hall mates are your potential friends. Of course, you first need to become a good friend of your roommate. Nothing can offer you a better chance to know someone than sharing the same space for at least one semester. You can always hang out during the weekend, bringing along your respective friends. Moreover, do look out for the hall activities. You can join things like hall dance or inter-hall sports competitions. During festive seasons, your hall committee will usually organize celebration activities where people congregate. Go for such things and be surprised by how many friends you can make.
There are many ways to make friends. To know which one works the best for you, probably a better question to ask is why you are having challenges making friends. If it’s your personality at work, such as being an introvert, you need to find a low-energy environment, such as a student club where people there are limited in number and one knows others very well. If you are an extrovert but your current environment prevents you from making friends, then keep an eye on interesting events or activities that you can participate in where you are the highlight of the crowd!