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A beginner’s guide to making friends at Concordia

Here are 5 tips to help you start connecting with your peers

Three students walking and two others sitting on grass on university campus

Starting university is a big step and can come with a lot of uncertainty. One of the more obvious challenges is making new friends.

You’re in a strange, new place surrounded by unfamiliar faces, so it’s no surprise the prospect of connecting with others can feel daunting.

With that in mind, here are some quick tips that might help you meet other new students and create lasting friendships.

1. Take the initiative

Put yourself out there and be proactive. Online or in person, you still need to put some effort in to approach others and be open. Attend events, workshops and social activities where other students are likely to be. The reality is a lot of people who are entering university are also looking to meet others.

Don’t be afraid to start a conversation after class or during breaks, and, if you feel you’ve clicked with someone, ask about ways you can stay in touch or if they want to hang out again.

Most professors reserve time during the first lecture for students get to know each other. This would be a great opportunity for you to see who has similar interests as they introduce themselves so you can reach out!

2. Make connections early on

Seeing a familiar face waiting for you at the beginning of class can be a comfort.

One way of doing this is by attending Orientation, which offers a slew of different opportunities for you to meet other students in a social setting before classes start. Be sure to check out the CONNECT days and START week for social activities, games and campus tours.

Another way to start connecting with future classmates is by taking advantage of the student events held by your program’s student association at the start of term. Follow them on social media to stay up to date with what they’re working on. You can also search to see if there is a Facebook group for your program — chances are, there is one!

Once classes have begun, the Homeroom initiative is available to first-year students looking to connect virtually or in person with their peers. In weekly Homerooms led by upper-year students, you’ll discuss a wide array of must-know topics that will help ease the transition to university life.

Lastly, if you’re an undergraduate student, be sure to join the New Concordians: 2022-2023 Facebook group to chat and meet others starting in the same term as you.

3. Join a student club

There are plenty of opportunities to network on a smaller scale via student groups, volunteering or even joining sports and recreational programs at Concordia.

There’s bound to be at least one club or association that speaks to you. Joining it will give you a chance to meet others with similar interests in an informal setting. Plus, think of how easy it will be to start a conversation when you already know you have common ground!

4. Get a job on or around campus

A student job is a great way to make new friends.

Your co-workers may even end up being in the same faculty or program as you. Whether it’s at the Student Success Centre or at the bookstore or another location on campus, finding part-time work will give you an opportunity to socialize while also making some money.

5. Know that it’s okay to show up to events alone

One of the main obstacles to making new friends is the fear of showing up to social events by yourself. Getting around this can be problematic, though, especially if you’re a new student and don’t know anyone yet.

Do it anyway. Orientation events — whether online or in person — have student mentors who are there to help you participate and navigate the events. You can always speak with one of them before introducing yourself to your peers.

If you’re still uncomfortable with attending by yourself, try one of these events specifically tailored for students who have yet to make new acquaintances:

  • Welcome Crew Wednesdays
    Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, join the Welcome Crew mentors every other Wednesday this summer and get tips to help you figure out your next steps for starting first year, all while meeting other new students and making friends! 
  • Meet a Friend
    Join for an opportunity to meet a friend via icebreakers and games facilitated by the Welcome Crew mentors.
    Why not join a new student tour? Not only would you get to know the Concordia campuses before the term starts, you would meet other new students.
  • ISO social events and activities: Concordia’s International Students Office (ISO) hosts regular interactive group chitchats and virtual game nights leading up to the start of the fall term — and more social activities when the term starts.

Finally, for those looking for a line or two to help break the ice, why not try one of these?

  • “Hey, I think I recognize you from Welcome Crew Wednesdays — I wonder if we’re in the same program.”
  • “Are you new here, too? What are you studying?”
  • “Are you from Montreal? This city seems great so far.”
  • Before the start of an in-person lecture: “This is POLI 204, right? Just want to make sure I’m in the right class.”

Cheesy? Sure. But it could open up a conversation.

Join the Fall 2022 Orientation activities.

For more on getting ready to start your first year and getting connected, consult the Welcome Guide for New Concordians.


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