Socially, university is very different from high school. While it's a bigger, more daunting place, it also has a larger range of opportunities to meet people and make life-long friendships! UNSW especially, has many great student societies and clubs to help you meet people you wouldn't normally meet in lectures and tutorials. 2nd year CSE student (and CSESoc Student Network Director!) Giuliana De Bellis shares the 5 ways she met great friends at uni - and how you can too!
Check out the article below!
Meeting people at uni
Being thrown into a brand new environment, with little familiar faces, and a whole new set of procedures is daunting for everyone. Having people by your side through all this newness is so important - not only to help you get through it, but to enjoy uni life! The friends you make at uni will have your back when some courses won’t 👀, join you for 2 for 1 bubble tea runs at Ten Fourteen, and remind you of deadlines you never knew existed.
UNSW is a BIG community. I remember feeling stunned at the diversity in thoughts, interests and cultures during O-Week. This means you shouldn’t change yourself when embarking on this new journey. In fact, you should embrace all these new opportunities to better explore who you are. Coming from smaller communities and schools, this may come as a bit of a shock. But approaching first-year with an open attitude is the first step in settling into a successful uni lifestyle.
Now that you’re ready to gang up, here’s some tips to help you along.
1. O-Week events
Put the adrenaline and excitement you’ll get from walking down the main walkway for the very first time to good use! Introduce yourself to people at society stalls (they’re always super friendly!), sign up for events that get your attention, attend introductory and welcome lectures and make an effort to talk with someone new!
The more people you meet, the more likely you’ll run into them again in your first classes, camps and society events. Try to join all the societies that spark your curiosity, sound fun, or give you free stuff 👀.
2. Your first lectures and classes
Try your best to get to your first classes a bit early, introduce yourself to people waiting, make an effort to chat and sit with someone new! Remember that most of the people around you want to meet other first-years too, so everyone’s open to a chat. It may seem daunting at first, but making that first step to introduce yourself might turn into a lifelong friendship!
3. Peer mentoring
If you want to make new friends in CSE degrees, with the added support of a senior student to guide any questions you have along the way, CSESoc’s got your back!
Peer mentoring will make your uni experience less daunting, in a chill environment. We run events like welcome parties, workshops, study sessions and more to assist you in making friends and feeling confident in your first-year.
The best decision I made this year was to crash a bunch of peer mentoring meet-ups during the first couple weeks of uni to meet a bunch of different people doing the same courses as myself. In the program I made great friends I still meet up with frequently, had loads of fun, and got heaps of hacks and tips that carried me through my first year.
The mentors are super friendly and helpful in answering a bunch of random questions you might have, some hot takes including where’s the best spot to study, eat, drink and pee on campus (not all together, obviously).
If you want to find out more about the program, follow the CSESoc Facebook page for updates on registration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or come chat with myself or Hayes, the Student Network directors!
4. First year camp
Another not-to-be-missed event for first years is CSESoc camp! Here you’ll meet a bunch of students who just wanna have fun and bond with you.
As someone who never liked school camps, I was a bit sceptical of uni camps, but after hearing raving reviews from friends I knew I had to give it a go. Now, I have a raving review of my own to tell 😎.
From water balloon fights, to trivia games, late-night ramen feeds, a neon party and an escape room - I made some incredible memories, and met some even more incredible people who are my best friends to this day. Camp’s also a great opportunity to chat with older students and the CSESoc team about uni life and beyond.
What makes camp so great is it's like a mini-holiday, designed for bonding and good times, which helps everyone to feel a part of the CSE community at UNSW.
Keep an eye on the CSESoc Facebook page for early-bird ticket releases 👀.
5. Subcommittee, society involvement and social events
Another fantastic way to meet people with a bunch of different interests is to attend society events, and apply for Subcommittee positions.
I recommend everyone to explore the different portfolios available, from projects, creative, socials and careers, there’s something for everyone!
Remember community involvement gives you a well-rounded uni experience, and will complement your studies nicely, all while having fun with other cool people!
Remember to take as many opportunities as you can in your first few weeks of uni, to be setup for years of support and fun times 🎉
Choose your own adventure!
As Giuliana mentioned, subcom is a great place to meet new people - find out more about the subcom that’s brought you this Guide!
And in case if you ever find yourself in a rough patch socially, emotionally or even financially, it’s also a great idea to get familiar with the ways the support network at UNSW is here for you.
Don't like these options? Check out the full roadmap below!