Find Your Inner Circle

Making new friends is a significant part of your time at university. It’s a chance to grow your network and meet interesting new people from around the world.

Here are some tips for finding your inner circle.


Many of us wait for others to approach but in reality it is up to us to initiate. Start small. Say “hi” to a classmate and chat about coursework. Ask an acquaintance out for coffee.

Feel the fear, do it anyway

Sometimes we worry about being rejected or not knowing what to say. Remind yourself that getting to know people can be awkward at first but this is normal and temporary.

Get involved

It’s often easier to connect with people who have similar interests. Join a club, play on a team or visit the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers in Brock Hall to discover new opportunities. Not sure where to start? Visit UBC campus life.

Build on what you have

Are there people in your existing social circle that you’d like to know better? Deepen the relationship by opening up and being a bit more personal about yourself. Do you have old friends you’ve lost touch with? Reach out to old friends—they’ll be glad to hear from you.

Improve your social skills

Small talk might not be your thing, and that’s okay. There are lots of great ways to improve conversation and social skills. Try asking questions to show your interest in the other person. Little things like smiling and maintaining the right amount of eye contact go a long way. A ton of resources or developing social skills are just a Google search away!

Limit your expectations

Close friendships take time, energy and the right fit. Not everyone will become your best friend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and enjoy the company of your new acquaintances.

Benefits of friendship

Studies have shown that friendship comes with many positive benefits including:

  • improved academic performance
  • higher self-esteem
  • sense of belonging and purpose
  • greater happiness
  • improved mood
  • reduced stress
  • better recovery from illness
  • longer life expectancy

If you find you’re having a tough time making friends in residence, you can talk with a Residence Advisor or the Residence Life Manager. RAs or RLMs can listen and try to help you out in any way they can.

Additional Resources