Emma: 11 practical ways to maintain O-Week friendships
With the dawn of Week 1 approaching, and actual uni responsibilities of classes and assessment rapidly filling up your calendar, you’ll encounter the somewhat challenging task of keeping budding friendships going.
To avoid that we-met-that-one-time smile, every time you see each other for the next three years of your degree, here are 11 practical ways to maintain friendships after Orientation:
1. Be yo’self
One of the best ways to maintain friendships is to just be yourself!
2. Keep calm and say hello
Walking into your first lecture can be overwhelming, so it’s natural to put your head down and beeline it to a spare seat surrounded by more space than the Sahara. Take a moment to breathe, look around and if you spot your new mate, engage in the potentially nerve-racking task of acknowledging their existence by taking the seat next to theirs. Same goes if you see them in the coffee line, library or around campus; just stay calm and say hello.
3. Be genuinely interested
Ask how their weekend was, and genuinely listen like you want to know the answer. Remember what you talked about last time (family, pets, latest ep. of GoogleBox), so you can pick up your conversation where you left off!
4. Get amongst activities
A great way to build on positive O-Week vibes is for you and your new friend to sign up to a student club or sport, creating a regular opportunity to meet up throughout the semester, share your interests and even make more new mates.
5. Share a study sesh
Creating a study group gives you a chance to get to know your friend with guaranteed topics of conversations from your recent classes and study (obviously colluding is cheating, so your assessment work must be your own, but you know that). Throw in some study snacks and the perfect playlist, and it’s basically a party.
6. Connect socially
It’s not official unless its Facebook official, so extend your new friendship to the social stratosphere and stay connected outside of uni.
7. Relatable real talk
Chances are, you both might be experiencing the steep learning curve of uni study (making it to lectures on time, balancing classes and children, and last minute assignment writing anyone?) or first-time living out of home disasters (turned your favourite shirt pink?). Share you real talk stories, which might or might not warrant a laughing fit that doubles as an ab workout, and hopefully you can learn together.
8. Find common ground…
Uni will most likely be the first common ground you share, so build on this by discovering shared interests, hobbies and obsessions, which can be a go-to conversation starter.
9. … and then get out and about
Now you know what you have in common, use this powerful knowledge to strategically invite them on outings that you will both revel in. If you need some ideas for places to visit in Toowoomba, Ipswich and Springfield on a student budget, we’ve got your back.
10. Spread kindness like a confetti cannon
Dropping little random acts of kindness will let your new friend know that you appreciate them and are in for the long-haul. Shouting them a coffee, holding the door open for them, or just making sure you have an extra pen they can borrow. It’s the little things that make an impact, and could be the thing that brightens their day.
11. Get ready to celebrate
Getting through your first week of classes will definitely be an accomplishment, so why not celebrate? Head out for a meal or a drink (why not both?) to enjoy each other’s company in a casual setting and toast to a beautiful new friendship.
When you see a new friend approaching, spring into action using these practical tips, and you’ll have a #usqstudybuddy long after Orientation!