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Overcoming the challenges that come with making friends at university

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Starting anything new can be challenging – especially when it comes to making new friends.

We’ve identified common challenges faced when it comes to making friends and provided some tips to help you out if you come face-to-face with these challenges.

Challenge #1: Starting from scratch.

When you’ve moved away from home to study, everything can feel overwhelming, especially trying to settle into a new environment. One of the best ways to meet new people is to take full advantage of the workshops and activities provided in your first weeks of uni. During O-Week, sign-up for as many activities as you can, like speed-friending, social sports, and campus tours. It’s a great way for you to join clubs and meet students who could be in the same study field or share the same interest as you do.

Challenge #2: Balancing academic responsibilities.

Balancing your uni work and social life can be tricky. Luckily, you are not alone in this struggle! A great program you can get involved with is UniPASS. This is a free program of study sessions with other students who aim to also strengthen their study skills. Not only will you gain valuable guidance toward your studies, but you will also have the opportunity to connect with students in the same boat as you.

Challenge #3: Building your social skills and confidence

Feeling shy or anxious when talking to new people is super common! Setting small goals for yourself, like making an effort to chat with a new person every day, practising affirmations or chatting to a Curtin counsellor can help you become more confident and comfortable around new people. But most importantly, don’t avoid social settings altogether – although they can be nerve-wracking, the more you engage with them, the more you will learn how to handle them in a way that you find enjoyable.

Last but not least, be kind to yourself and understand that forming friends may take some time. Just remember to be yourself and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.

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