As much as I’d like to call myself an extrovert, the act of going up and introducing myself to strangers is just… terrifying to me.
Remember when we were kids?
Things were much easier.
We just put ourselves out there with the other kids… and made heaps of new friends after a few hours of playing.
Haizz… Only if we could go back in time and put ourselves out there.
As you can tell, I've got my own ups and downs in this “making friends” department.
The past 2 weeks have been quite a journey for me.
I have made mistakes. A lot of them.
And here’s what I have learnt:
Matthew's personal guide to make friends
1. Learn the handshake culture
Pay close attention to how others do it (guys = handshake; girls = side-hug)
2. Put yourself out there in the crowd
Sit in the common area, talk to the guy in front of you in line, make eye contact with that girl sitting across the table and give everyone a big smile.
3. Never miss any event, unless you have to
There are more than a hundred events going on during university orientation week across different faculties, clubs and halls of residence. The more you say YES to meet others, the quicker you’ll find your own tribe.
4. Most importantly, never miss the Clubs Expo day
Find and join student clubs. It always feels amazing to meet other weirdos just like you.
5. Know that you’re going to make a lot of mistakes
In every way possible. You're going to have heaps of bad days and tons of awkward moments. And that’s OK. You will learn and grow a lot from them.
Because of that, go out there and make more of them!
6. Last of all, Be yourself!
This is NOT a tip by me. In fact, this is NOT a tip at all – this is a principle to live by:
Be yourself. Be honest with yourself.
Keep in mind: none of the tips above would work if you are NOT being yourself.
- Don’t pretend to be that cool guy with 6 layers of cologne unless that’s your style. Don’t pretend to like Starbucks if you hate the taste of coffee.
- Wear what you’d usually wear when hanging out with your old friends. Say what you’d normally say if you were with your own squad.
And yes, you guessed it. Be your-own-frickin’-awesome-self. Always.
And say YES, too!
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'
– C.S. Lewis