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The art of making friends: My top tips

A newbie's guide to meeting your ride or die at Concordia

A smiling student mentor standing on top of Mont Royal lookout Matthew Piscina is an undergraduate student majoring in Urban Studies with a minor in Professional Writing and a Welcome Crew mentor.

1. Take the initiative

Put yourself out there and be proactive. Here’s what helped me get started:

  • 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. 

  • Some professors reserve time during the first lecture for students to get to know each other. This is a great opportunity to get to know the people beside you.

2. Make connections early on

Seeing a familiar face in class can be comforting. If you connect with students outside the classroom, it may be a pleasant surprise to see them in one of your lectures! Here are some opportunities that I took advantage of in my first year: 

  • I took part in new student Orientation activities - it’s where I met most people in first year.
  • I also attended Homeroom weekly meetings led by upper-year students, we chatted about all things and many of the must-know topics that helped ease the transition to university life.
  • I also was sure to join Facebook groups for my faculty or program. Plus the university’s official group for new students. Just type “New Concordians” followed by the academic year you’re admitted for and you’ll find it. It helped me find people in the same term as me. Here’s the group for this year: New Concordians: 2023-2024.

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. Here's a few I wish I knew about sooner:

  • There’s bound to be at least one club or group that speaks to you. You have the option to choose from cultural, academic, and many hobby/interest groups. Joining a group will give you a chance to meet others with similar interests in an informal setting.
  • Intramural sports are also an excellent way of meeting new people and playing a sport that you enjoy. There are a ton of intramural sports teams for all students to join.
  • Don’t forget about student associations for your own faculty/department. I always love attending their events to meet students from my field of study!

4. Commuting Apps

I know that it can seem uneasy to come to social events by yourself. Getting over this fear can certainly take some motivation, but sometimes you may have to go outside your comfort zone to get involved and meet new students alike. Here are some examples of events that are specifically tailored to connect new students:

  • PREPARE social activities: Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, join the Welcome Crew mentors to connect with your fellow students while getting tips on how to start at university. There are even game days with Homeroom.
  • CONNECT Orientation: full days of social activities, tours, fun scavenger hunts and food! Perfect combo to meet people!
  • ISO social events and activities: you don’t have to be an international student to attend! They host tours of the city, virtual game nights, movie viewings, and more during the summer and fall terms! 

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.

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