It’s not easy balancing a social life with the workload of school, jobs, and other commitments, but it’s also tough taking on all of that stress without some friends to help you along the way. For many students, university is a time of transition, and even for those who aren’t new to the area, it’s easy to slip out of contact with friends who may be attending different schools or joining the workforce, or have moved here from far away and don’t know anyone in the area. Speaking as an introvert, I know connecting with new people can be challenging, so in an effort to spread a little more friendship around UFV, here are some suggestions to make connections and build bonds without adding too much more to your busy week.
Join a club
UFV students run a whole host of clubs which are always looking for new members. Their focuses range from hobbies to places of origin to causes, and the great thing about clubs is that they can involve very low time commitments. You can take a look at UFV’s official clubs at ufvsus.ca/current_clubs. If you find one that interests you, search for it on Facebook and you can probably find more details, and don’t be afraid to email the contact person to ask questions!
Visit a lounge
In my role as Culture & Events editor, it’s my job to keep tabs on what’s going on throughout UFV, and perhaps the place most actively hosting events is the Global Lounge, located in B223 on the Abbotsford campus. With games nights every Thursday, a big TV, and space to hang out and chat with fellow students, it’s well worth a visit. There’s also the student lounge on the second floor of the Student Union Building (SUB), which is a similar hangout space, complete with a pool table.
There’s no better way to meet people on campus than being plugged into what’s going on at your school. You could make a point of following the upcoming Student Union Society (SUS) elections, or work with the organization more directly. You could start a radio show on CIVL to share your favourite music with the community. Or you could join us at The Cascade, by writing, taking pictures, drawing illustrations, or applying for one of the jobs advertised throughout this issue. All three options are great ways to meet like-minded, engaged people while also helping to build UFV’s community.
Did you know there’s some kind of special event happening almost every day at UFV? From talks to workshops, from parties to games, there’s even more than can fit on our handy upcoming events calendar (located on the back cover of each issue). Check out events.ufv.ca for a full listing of what’s coming up, or if sports are more your thing, check the schedule at ufvcascades.ca. Tickets are free for UFV students! To help meet new friends at these events, you may have to take a step beyond attending. Interact, too. Talk to the person sitting next to you, ask a question of the speaker, or make your way around the room. Everyone else is there because they’re interested and more often than not, they’ll be happy to talk to you.
Engage in class
If all of those options require too much of your extracurricular time, here’s the simplest suggestion of all: pay attention in class. Join in the discussions. Ask the person sitting next to you questions. Don’t feel like you need to sit in a corner away from everyone else. Ask another student what their plan is for that upcoming assignment during the break. Comment on their unusual phone case or t-shirt. You could be spending three months sitting in a room with someone who shares all of your interests, and you’ll never know until you strike up a conversation.