Two girls in black sweaters hug while smiling and facing the camera.

I won’t sugarcoat the beginning of this: creating a social life in university is hard. It’s a lot of hard work. For many of you, you may be moving to Kamloops from another community, province, or maybe even country. For others, this will be the first time in your life you won’t have a class with the same people you did in high school. University is an exciting new chapter in our lives, but it’s also nerve wracking because everything is new. Making new friends is one of the hardest things I experienced in university. Of course, I also had COVID adding onto the issue but even when I spent my first month in person when we were allowed back in class, I found it terrifying to talk to new people. Luckily, I figured out how to overcome this and am able to share my journey (and some good tips and tricks) with you. Read on for the non-official how-to guide on finding your people. 


When you’re thinking about making new friends, there’s probably some criteria (I use this word loosely) you have in your head on what you want in a friend. For me, it’s somebody who is kind, loyal, understands my humour, and is at least somewhat interested in something I’m interested in. For you, it could be totally different. It will root back to your own personal values though. Take some time to think about yourself and who you are. University is also a time that allows us to make any changes we want to our persona. Maybe it’s getting into rec sports or dying your hair a crazy colour. Either way, think about who you want to be. Take both of these considerations and mesh them together in order to figure out some “criteria” about what kind of people you want to be around. Surround yourself with who you want to be because that is one of the ways that you become it. 


Making new friends is uncomfortable. Of course, it’s less uncomfortable for some than others. I’m looking at you extroverts. No matter which you are though, you will feel some sort of discomfort in talking to new people. I’d like to let you know that that’s okay. As long as there’s no alarm bells going off your head, this discomfort is temporary and a result of growth. Make yourself power through it and be okay with it. For myself, I get so scared around new people where I become a shy, quiet, tiny person but then once I get more okay, I become outgoing and rather boisterous. I remind myself that the short term pain is worth it for the long term gain I will get in being social and connecting with others. 


Take this literally or figuratively, it’s up to you. I personally would take it literally and I do (pink is the colour in my calendar for social time). University is a busy time. You are busy with classes, studying, maybe working, and so much more. It’s important though to put aside time to be social. It’s good for us to connect with others. Consider joining clubs or attending gatherings. Say yes to hanging out with people when you have time for it. This goes with the above point, but make time to go out of our comfort zone and do something with other humans. They say that some of the friends you make in university will be your lifetime friends, and that may or may not be true but no matter you have to put yourself out there to try. 

Two students hold up a banner that says "we heart eco club".
The Eco club, one of the many clubs on campus, during their clothes swap event.

Making friends as an adult is hard. When we were kids, we would talk to anyone about anything, but now we have brain functions that prevent that. In order to find your people and make the most out of this opportunity to be social, applying the tips above could help you. One important thing to remember – everyone is in the exact same spot as you. We’ve all been there or are there so you’re not alone. Take the leaps and make the most out of your TRU journey. 

Future Student Ambassador, Abby – Bachelor of Arts, “Finding Your People”, 3 Feb. 2023

Other stories you may like

Back to all news

Search news stories