Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

Arriving at a new school, maybe even a new city, can be quite intimidating if you don’t know anyone. This is why the Her Campus at uOttawa team has decided to give you some tips and tricks to feel right at home on campus.

1- Tour the campus and the area

The best way to feel at home is to know where you’re going at all times. In terms of getting familiar with the campus, we recommend pulling up your schedule and visiting the buildings and rooms your classes will be held in. This will reduce any “deer caught in the headlights” moments during your first few weeks when you’ll be running between classes and getting lost on campus. If you live in residence, make sure to “tour” your floor and get to know others because you might find your besties for the resties! If you’re lucky enough, you might figure out the tunnel situation early on and will not have to freeze your butt off outside in the winter (unlike most other first years). Touring the area will also make scheduling chores easier. Know where you’ll go grocery shopping to get used to the routes early on. Find the closest laundromat if your accommodation doesn’t offer on-site laundry. Try out the restaurants near you to find your go-to spot. Father and Sons (FnS) and No Forks Given are right across from campus and tend to be quite popular among students. Knowing the area is definitely a must when trying to hang out with others, and you might even meet people during your outings!

2- Join Discords

Discord is a group messaging platform used to allow students to communicate, which is exactly why you should use it. Find at least one friend per class with whom you can go on study dates or even create a friendship beyond class material and actually hang out with them. Discord also has voice channels, so it’s a great place to have study sessions before exams where you can ask questions to classmates or even your TA. Speaking of which, never be scared to ask your TA questions or simply talk to them; they’re just as (and sometimes more) knowledgeable as your profs and they’re way less scary.

3- Join clubs

Joining clubs will allow you to meet people outside of class that have similar interests as you. You may find people who have the same hobbies, same origins, or even practice the same religion. Most clubs host events for their members, so it’ll also allow you to have some outings without having to try hard to invite people out. Our best tip to find clubs is to visit the clubs fair at the beginning of the semester. If you’re more into virtual visits, you may want to stalk Instagram to find school clubs. Check out Campus Vibez uOttawa for a complete list of clubs offered at uOttawa.

4- Join Greek life

Although clubs will allow you to meet people with similar interests, Greek life will bring you the truest friendships. We have a few sororities and fraternities on campus that tend to keep your life pretty busy. Whether it’s a sisterhood event or a mixer with another organization, sororities always make sure their members have something to do throughout the week. Contrary to what is portrayed in movies, Greek life doesn’t only revolve around parties; it also highly values academics, philanthropy, and sisterhood. Yes, it will allow you to meet people, but you’ll also discover interests you didn’t know you had. For example, Alpha Phi has allowed me to deepen my love for event planning and painting.

5- Go to events

There are a bunch of events organized on campus—whether by the school or a faculty. Make the most of the opportunity and go enjoy those events. Most of them offer free stuff like cakes or coffee, so you won’t lose anything by dropping in. You might also meet new people you vibe with, which is an advantage if it’s a faculty event and you make friends within your faculty or program!

Overall, we know it’s hard, but you need to hit people up to make friends. The worst thing that can happen is that they’ll say no. Yes, rejection might be scary, but it won’t bring you backwards. It will only bring you back to the same spot you were before you asked.

Maude St-Pierre

U Ottawa '25

Maude is a third-year Second Language Teaching student. She always complains that she's lacking money, but is always willing to spend it on tattoos or concerts! If she's not at a concert venue, you can find her buried deep in the most recent murder mystery book trending on booktok.