So you’ve just started life as a college kid eager to spend your tertiary years with your #squad. Or maybe you’re in your second year of university and have finally made up your mind to be a social creature instead of keeping to yourself and watching Netflix during your breaks.
If you’re wondering how you can be more social without sacrificing your studies, check out these solid ways to enrich your social life during your time at university!
#1. Join a club
If you want to develop a real-life social network, sign up for a few clubs that pique your interest. Whether it’s breakfast get-togethers for foodies, the Korean Cultural Club for K-pop lovers or Toastmasters for those looking to improve their public speaking skills, there’s bound to be a club for everyone.
In addition to meeting like-minded people, you’ll develop a range of people skills such as how to break the ice with new people, how to communicate with different types of people (from the normal to the peculiar) as well as how to work with and lead a team. These sought-after values will boost your employability when it’s time for you to enter the workforce.
#2. Chat with the people in your class
There aren’t many perks of being a wallflower in college — things happen to those who step out of their comfort zone.
If you don’t talk to your new classmates, they’ll assume your frosty demeanour means you’d rather be left alone. So when it’s time to form groups during assignment season, you may find yourself without a group as no one wants to work with someone who doesn’t communicate.
To avoid this, say hello to your new seat buddy on the first day of class itself. He or she might just turn out to be an important part of your life this semester.
If you’re too shy to say hello first, remember that the people in your class are going through the same thing as you, so they could be just as shy. Ask yourself: what’s the worst that could happen? Even if someone you try to make friends with seems cold and uninterested, there are still others you could get to know.
#3. Find a part-time job
Start adulting early and apply for a temporary job. Besides earning some moolah on the side, you’ll gain valuable work experience and a new social circle: your colleagues.
Unlike the similar-aged peers in your class, your work colleagues may consist of various individuals with differing backgrounds and age groups. This will give you the chance to learn new things that may not come up during your conversations with your friends at uni — you’ll pick up politics and current affairs from an older colleague, bond with the younger ones who can tell you all about the best places to unwind and learn leadership lessons from your boss.
It might be a little jarring at first to work closely with people who aren’t on your wavelength, but you’ll soon find yourself vibing with them and learning that immensely valuable lesson of working as a team and being adaptable with others. Score!
#4. Engage in class
We know sitting at the back row of lecture halls is enticing, but try to slide into the front row once in a while to interact with your lecturer and classmates.
When you speak up in class or answer a question, you’ll learn how to express your thoughts and ideas concisely and cohesively. And if you’re a little shy or self-conscious, this is a good way to overcome your fear of speaking in public. More importantly, your lecturer is likely to notice you.
Now, nobody likes a brown-noser but university isn’t just about building relationships with your peers. Engaging with your lecturers is important too as they can help you with assignments and projects as well as connect you with internship and job opportunities.
#5. Attend campus events
There’s always something going on at campus, so check out your university’s social media and newsletters to discover upcoming events you might be interested in. These could include vibrant student-led bazaars, open days, annual balls and even concerts by the music club or local artists.
Don’t miss out on attending these events with some of your friends so that you can meet new people, socialise and take a ton of photos that you can look back on.
Now that you have an idea of what to do to be more social during uni, it’s time to head out to mix and mingle! When you look back at all the memories you’ve made and the friendships that you’ve forged over the years during university, you’ll be glad you took the initiative to improve your social life during this time.