Since the University of Toronto campus is so big, and a large portion of students are commuters, it can be hard to find friends. However, your social life is an important aspect of your university experience, so here are some suggestions on how to meet people on campus!
1. Join student clubs! These are definitely one of the best routes to meeting friends. Although it might seem daunting to join a club that you know no one in, many people are in the same situation you are in. Don’t be afraid to just walk into the meeting room and introduce yourself. Clubs are joined by people with similar interests, so you’ll definitely find common topics to start those introductory conversations with.
2. As an extension of joining student clubs, join some extracurricular activities. This may include going to the Athletic Centre or Hart House to find some great yoga or dance classes for example. You can also find some volunteer activities that are run by student groups to participate in.
3. Talk to people sitting beside you in lecture and tutorial. This can seem really awkward at first considering the size of some of the lectures we have at U of T, but it’s honestly a good way to meet friends. It’s always great to take the initiative in these situations. Not only can you potentially meet friends, you can also develop better interpersonal skills that are important in tutorials that have participation marks, and will also come in handy at your future job.
If lectures are too intimidating for some of you, try talking to your classmates in tutorials or labs. These are much smaller classroom settings, and you’re bound to see these people again on a weekly basis. It can make your dreaded tutorials and labs (if you do dislike them) much more interesting as well. Your classmates can often be helpful if you’ve missed a lecture or if you need help with some of the material. And, it can work the other way. You can help them out with the same things and it’s always nice to help someone out; it makes their day so much better as well as your own!
4. Stay on campus! As a commuter or a person who lives off-campus, you may only feel the need to go to school for class and then proceed to leave right after class. It’s really important to actually explore the campus for more than just lectures and classes, since you can’t make friends if you aren’t on campus!
The key message is that you need to take the initiative to meet people! Once you do, you will find that your university experience will be so much more enjoyable.
What are your tips for meeting people on campus? Let us know in the comments below!