Ah, friends. They’re a motley crew, aren’t they? They’re the ones who make uni worthwhile, and without them you’d probably still be eating your packed lunch by yourself in that quiet, little corner of Haymarket (or was that just me?).
By the end of semester one, you’ve probably made a few decent pals who you’ve grown quite attached to. You may have even had some good times during the break (remember that C R A Z Y night?), shared a secret or two (promise not to tell A N Y O N E, okay? *virtually pinkie promises over Facebook Messenger*), and dare I say it, even shared some of your sacred, delicious food with them (meaning that you’re practically besties/soulmates now).
But then, semester two rolls around.
Thinking that you’ve had your fair share of calamities for the year, you eagerly compare timetables with your new-found chums and find a major difference between your timetables. You have different subjects, on different days, in different classes, and in different buildings. You despair. You panic. You feel a bit sick at the thought of the all-encompassing paralysis that comes with being ‘the new kid’ once again.
Now, before you decide to drop out of uni altogether let me tell you that this is exactly (well not exactly) what happened to me. As a result of mentally breaking down over the strenuous effort that is timetabling which makes you plan your W H O L E year in advance (cheers, UTS), I carelessly picked a subject without doing the ‘ole ‘is anyone dong this subject?’ consultation with my friends. So, said subject was picked and promptly forgotten about. Fast-forward to semester two, and after an initial panic, it was time to make some new friends.
But here’s the thing, how do you make friends? I mean, how do you even approach potential pals? Do you spot them in the lecture, sit down next to them, and make some light-hearted, casual banter about the weather? Because it was a going to be a 9am lecture and there was no way I, or anyone else for that matter, would be up for some small chit-chat about the stupid weather.
Alright then, what about in the tutorial? Should I just sit next to someone, or will someone sit next to me? Oh, and don’t forget about those majorly awkward first-day back ice-breakers which are even more awkward if no one is sitting next to you. Before you know it, I would be back in that quiet corner of Haymarket eating my packed lunch all alone.
Seriously though, if you do find yourself in a situation like this it’s really not so bad. All you have to do is take deep breathes, and work up the courage to do some talking. Now, don’t blurt out anything. Just stick to some introductions, they’re always good, and take advantage of those majorly awkward icebreakers as chances are you’ll make a friend with the person you’re ice-breaking with. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, or even go up and sit next to a random in your tutorial. It’s likely that they facing the ‘new kid’ crisis, and are in desperate need of a friendly face.
To conclude my experience, my tutor made us do some bingo-style icebreakers which required us to actually move around and engage with nearly everyone in the room. Majorly awkward…yes, but hey, I got to meet some interesting people.
I’ll keep you posted, but I think I may have actually made some new subject buddies.
By Isha Bassi