Massive’s Kaitlin Edmonds shares her top tips for finding friends at halls of residence.
Keep your door open
Having an open door lets other know you are open to conversation and socialising, and that you are friendly and approachable. It simply invites a simple hello as people walk past your door, which trust me, as the year goes on, can frequently turn into very long conversations. This is particularly important for when you first move into halls, as people are all over the place moving in, and might be lonely. I found my door was open all the time when I was in Moginie (Massey Hall) and people would always be dropping in. It is however, a good idea to close your door if you are having a sneaky nap or have left an assignment to the last minute. Especially make sure your door is closed if everyone is going out and you need to avoid them so you’re not swayed into another drunken night when you really should be doing that assignment you got an extension for because you were ‘sick’ (let’s admit it, you were hungover, or just lazy).
Join in with activities and events
As cringy as the start-of-year meeting everyone games can be, they are worth going to. You meet everyone you are going to be spending the year with. So even if you don’t hang out with them throughout your times in halls, you will at least know their names. Hall trips are always fun and you should try to attend them if you can (they also usually come with food). Additionally, there are hall sporting competitions that can be great fun. They allow you to get to know your hall buddies and Residential Assistant’s better and then have fun with your established groups. Join in with other people and ask others if they want to join you and your friends in things you might be doing, especially if you notice someone struggling or exchange students who might be new.
Say hi to everyone
Sounds kind of strange, but is a great way of meeting people, remembering names and maintaining relationships with people you live with. You don’t have to stop and talk for a long time, or even hang out with them, but just saying hi really helps. And who knows, you might end up somewhere not knowing anyone and then see someone you kind of know from saying hi to when walking around campus and halls.
Make use of communal areas
Every hall has a common room and several have recreational rooms with table tennis and pool tables. Hang out in the common room and watch a bit of television, maybe while you have lunch, and you will find you meet lots of new people and have cool conversations. Sky Sport and Movies was always a pro in the common rooms, as my friends and I stayed up watching live Olympics and movies instead of study or sleeping. Using the recreational rooms are great fun. They are good for a laugh, a break, and some friendly (and at times, some very serious) competition.
Join a club…and actually go to meetings and events
How better to make friends than with those who share the same interests with you? Massey has some awesome clubs with awesome people. Clubs Day is on at the start of every semester. It is easy to walk away having signed up for a bunch of clubs and then never go. Even if it is just one to two clubs, try and commit your time to attending meet-ups that they organise. It will give you a break from study, you will meet new people, maybe learn some new skills and you might find some of your hall friends are there too!
Go out and party!
You are students, partying is a rite of passage. And no, I am not advocating that you have to drink to have fun, but yeah it certainly helps sometimes… partying is great because you meet friends of friends, see randoms from your course who end up being friends (or just that random that you only talk to when you are drunk in town), learn lots about each other in drinking games, laugh at drunk people who do stupid things and at your friends following their early morning walk of shame. Partying is a good time to forget and is great for making life long memories.