By: Logan Blair
Once you have settled into residence, you will be bombarded with programming and orientation events that will almost force you to meet people. After all, that is part of the goal. For me, my orientation with Woodsworth College was a bit stressful because I did not know anyone before I moved to Toronto. I was launched into a week of interactions with hundreds of new people, many I only passed by, but a few who are still my best friends.
I have always considered myself a confident person, but all of my old high school friendships were only formed out of the convenience of being in that high school. Once I came to U of T, it was a different ball game, and I had to do things on my own. That’s where I got a bit nervous.
How do I talk to someone? What if they’re weird? What if I’m weird?
After hitting up my roommate and making sure we would get along for the next eight months, I ventured out to the orientation activities to find more potential friends. The biggest thing I learned is that almost everyone was feeling the same way I was. None of us knew anybody, and we just wanted to have a friend. My trick was literally to walk up to people and say, “Hi. Can I be your friend?” That worked with a few people, and we all made a friend group. We also learned that we were staying on the same floor on residence, which was conducive to building a close-knit bond.
The two roommates I befriended, Maddy and Annette.
Alternatively, if you are not as outgoing as me, you can follow the lead of one of my friends. She befriended her roommate in first year, and let her roommate take the lead with forming friendships. Funny enough, that is how I became her friend, through the roommate.
Honestly, whatever your system is, everything will work out. If you put in the effort do venture out of your room once in a while and strike up a conversation with someone else in Chestnut, a lecture, or a tutorial, you will probably find that most people are nice. What you do with the relationship after the initial interaction is up to you, but making that first step will potentially set you up for long-term friends that you would not have found otherwise.