Hey readers!

We all know how hard being a student can be sometimes. It’s an endless struggle trying to juggle studying, finances, and staying healthy, while also going through so many new transitions in your life. But one of the biggest challenges of being a student that often goes overlooked is making new friends. That’s why I’ve tried to simplify the process of making friends into 5 simple(ish) steps.

Step 1: Get out of your comfort zone

I know, I know… easier said than done! But the only way to make friends is to be in an environment where you can meet new people. One of the best ways to make friends in University is to join a club on campus. There are so many clubs on campus, from the chess club to the heavy metal club, you’re bound to find something that interests you. And if not, start a new club! Find what you’re passionate about and pursue it. You’re more likely to find like-minded people when you start following your passion.

If none of the 200+ clubs on campus work for you, there are still options. Volunteering is a great way to find like-minded people who want to give back to the community. Joining an intramural sports team is another great option to regularly see people every week in a fun environment. And if all else fails, turn to the people in your classes. Come a little early to class to give yourself time to talk to people or form a study group before the next exam.

Step 2: Stop making assumptions

One of the biggest obstacles about finding new friends is our assumptions about other people. We’re usually our own biggest critics and sometimes it can seem intimidating approaching new people we admire. We may think they’re too popular or confident or well-dressed to want to spend time with us. But remember that we probably look that way to others as well! Chances are, if you admire someone’s style or are intrigued by the things they talk about, that admiration will be reciprocated.

On the other hand, we might also assume that someone is too different from us to have a successful friendship with. To that I say, give it a chance! Sometimes we find our closest friends in the most unlikely people. Having a diverse range of friends can stimulate interesting conversations and might open doors to a new way of thinking and living.

Step 3: Take initiative

Alright, so now you’re in an environment of new potential friends and you’ve stopped making assumptions. Now comes the hardest but most important step: Take initiative! Sure, you might get lucky and find someone who’s read this blog and does the work for you… but let’s be real, the chances of that happening are slim. So, it’s up to you to take that first step to start a new friendship.

Start slow by making small talk with your new potential friend. Try to find out what kind of things you and this person have in common (or don’t have in common). Ask questions but be genuine. Find something that intrigues both of you and run with it! Fun fact: People LOVE talking about themselves. Ask about what classes they’re taking, and which one is their favourite. What do they do in their spare time? Do they have any Netflix recommendations?

Step 4: Stay consistent

Great! You’ve met someone you like and had an awesome conversation with them! Now what? The next step in forming a new friendship is staying consistent. It doesn’t help having an awesome connection with someone one week and then not talking to them the next. Instead, bring up the topic you left of with from the last time you saw each other, or talk about something new. Don’t be afraid to show you enjoy talking to this person.

Sometimes, we might be afraid that we’re “coming off too strong” or that the person isn’t interested in being friends. The truth is, so many of the people around us feel the exact same. In fact, 70% of us have felt lonely in the last year. More often than not, people will appreciate the effort you put into pursuing a new friendship with them and will want to reciprocate that.

Next, try to find a way to bring your growing friendship outside of the normal environment you see this person in. Go from lecture friends to everyday friends.  Ask if they want to grab lunch after class or catch that new movie at Cinecenta they were talking about. Be creative and do this regularly. Sooner or later, you’ll find yourself with a new friend.

Step 5: Be a good friend

Now that you’ve done the hard work and made a brand-new friend, don’t forget about what being a ‘friend actually means. Friendship is all about love and support for one another. Show your new friend you care, and you appreciate their friendship. Remember birthdays, ask them how their day is, or send them a “Good Luck” text before a big exam.

However, remember that friendships go both ways, and if you find yourself constantly giving but not receiving then it might be time to move on. There are definitely times where one of you requires more support than the other, and that is completely fine! But you should always feel like that support will be reciprocated. The key to a great friendship is knowing you’ll always be there for each other.

Making friends is hard for everyone, and it becomes even harder in the campus environment, but I hope this step-by-step guide has taken a bit of that pressure off. Remember, you’re not alone; we all long for close, meaningful relationships. Don’t be afraid to take the first step. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple hello to start a new life-long friendship.

Love always,


The views expressed in this blog are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the University of Victoria. I monitor posts and comments to ensure all content complies with the University of Victoria Guidelines on Blogging.