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Meeting New People

Changes in your life often mean meeting new people. For some, this comes naturally and feels like a great opportunity to make new friends and find like-minded people to connect with. For others, it can be incredibly daunting and overwhelming. 

You will meet lots of different people while at University - housemates, course mates, people in the same society or sports club. Some will become friends while others will just be acquaintances or people you work alongside. Try not to put pressure on yourself to gel with everyone you meet. It is natural that you will get on better with some people than others which is fine as long as you treat everyone with respect. 

Developing some basics skills in meeting and interacting with new people can help to build your confidence. Here are some top tips: 

Top Tips for meeting new people

Top tips 

Why it is helpful 

Example 

Break the Ice 

Someone needs to start the conversation. One of the easiest ways to do this is to comment on the situation you are both in or something you have in common. 

“It’s cold in here today, isn’t it…?”  

“This topic is a lot more complex than I’d imagined. How are you finding it? 

 

Smile and make eye contact 

This will communicate to the other person that you are being friendly and you are interested in them. 

 

Introduce yourself 

This will help the other person to feel more connected to you. Knowing someone’s name helps you to feel more than strangers. 

Hi, I’m _____ What’s your name? 

Small talk 

Start with some simple basics and go from there. 

“Where are you from?”  

“Do you live - on or off campus?” 

“Have you tried many of the cafes on campus? Are there any you could recommend?” 

Ask questions 

Showing interest in the other person is important to prevent the conversation being one-sided. 

“How have you found the course so far...?” 

Don’t share too much too soon 

Be careful not to overwhelm the other person with a lot of information or personal details about yourself when you have just met them. 

“My feet smell so bad. I really need to change my socks!”.  

Remember their name 

Knowing someone’s name means that you have got past the ‘stranger’ zone. It also shows that you were listening which they will appreciate. 

Hi _____, how are you? 

meeting new people

Connecting with other people is one of the 5 ways to mental wellbeing. Therefore, it is important to invest time in making friends and developing good relationships in order to maintain good mental wellbeing in order to: 

  • help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth 
  • give you an opportunity to share positive experiences 
  • provide emotional support and allow you to support others 

Tips for making new friends at Warwick

Start small
Find things in common
Give it a go

At first, try to get to know just one or two people. This will build your confidence and help you to feel less isolated. It may also give you the chance to meet their friends and build your network further. 

Try to find something you have in common that you can connect over. This can be easier if you meet while taking part in a common interest e.g. studying, in a society or in an exercise class. 

If someone invites you to something, make the extra effort to say yes. If you’re shy it can be easy to think of all the reasons not to do something, but you can’t know how good something will be until you try it. 

Give people a chance
Focus on the positives
Be proactive

Don’t write people off if you don’t warm to them instantly. Remember that they could be nervous and not being their true self. 

Remind yourself why you are wanting to meet new people – what will having more friends give you that you don’t have at the moment? 

If you want to see the person again, say so and make it happen. Suggest another get-together and swap contact details. 

Don’t force it
Invest time
Get a date in the diary

If the other person really isn’t keen, don’t try to force it. There are plenty more people you can get to know. 

Put in the time at the start – it will be easier to make new friends when everyone else is also new. That doesn’t mean that you can’t also make new friends at any time though. 

Organising meeting up at a specific time for a specific purpose is a great way to make sure you have a chance to get to know each other. 

making new friends making new friends

Building better connections with housemates: 

  • Keep your room door open so your housemates feel welcome to come in and say hello. 
  • Suggest that you make dinner together to get to know each other
  • Offer your housemate a cup of tea or a cold drink
  • Join online groups for your accommodation to get to know people outside of your flat
  • Suggest a film night with your housemates
  • Get out of the flat – go for a walk or spend some time outdoors together
  • Suggest you go food shopping together
making new friends making new friends

Building better connections with course mates:

  • Try to rally some of your course mates together to make a study group
  • Invite people out for lunch or a coffee after a seminar
  • See if your course subject has an SU society that you could join
  • Take time to get to know people when working in groups – make a WhatsApp group so you can stay in touch
  • Get to lectures a few minutes early to give yourself a chance to chat to your course mates before the lecture starts

making new friends

Specific Opportunities to Make Friends and meet new people at Warwick:

If you are struggling with feelings of loneliness or isolation, Wellbeing Support Services offer Brief Consultation sessions from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday, via our Wellbeing Portal or you can call Wellbeing Support Services on 024 7657 5570

For more information on meeting new people and making friends, take a look at the following links: