Making friends

By Sam Horton, UBC student

Before coming to UBC I was the perpetual “new kid.” I had attended ten schools by the time I was 16 and lived all over the United States. Today, I can proudly say that I have mastered the art of friend-making. And with these tips, you can too.

1. Residence is where it’s at

Residence is the best place to make friends. Many of your new neighbours are new to UBC and looking for people to hang out, study, eat meals and explore with. These folks will become your second family, so get to know them. Attend your floor and community meetings and be sure to get out to residence and campus-wide welcome events—that’s where a lot of people connect for the first time.

2. Open doors

Here’s an easy way to meet people: when you’re in your room just leave your door open. That signals to your floor mates that you want to get to know them. Look up and smile when people walk by. Chances are, they’ll peek into your room and give you a smile or a wave, too. And when you walk down the hall, take your floor mates’ open doors as a signal to say hi.

3. Send positive signals

If you want to make friends, look approachable. Some people don’t get this. They wear their earphones, check their phone or avoid making eye contact. Those things send a signal—whether it’s right or wrong—that they don’t want to interact. To appear approachable, sit at a large table in the dining hall or library. Smile, make eye contact and say hi when someone sits down. And invite others to join you—it could be the beginning of a new group of friends.

4. Take it online

Social media is a great way to get to know other UBC students and residents. Search for groups for your school year, residence or floor. Most people are looking to meet new friends, so make sure you introduce yourself in real life too!

5. Remember, we’re all in this together

One last thing: we’re all adults here, and you can be friends with anyone, of any age, in any year. We’re all here to learn, grow and make new friends.