Graduating from high school, leaving home and arriving in a completely foreign environment is scary. This feeling multiplies when you come from a small town or rural village.
The responsibility of studying, cooking, cleaning and the rest that comes along with your new adult life, compounds the feeling. We at The Fields understand what you’re going through and want to help. We’re aware that making new friends can be the toughest part of all. We were once in the same boat, so we wrote this blog to help you out.
First, it’s important to acknowledge that the anxiety you’re experiencing is normal. We all know that one person who makes friends instantly wherever they go. To make friends for the majority of us doesn’t happen so easily, so you’re not alone.
Don’t feel down or be hard on yourself if you don’t make friends in the first couple of days. You want to have a friendship that will last, quality over quantity. And also, go with what feels right to you.
The pandemic has made making friends trickier. Added to lockdown, there has been a significant increase in streaming online content. It is so much more enticing for the introverts among us to bury ourselves in a Netflix series. The consequence – we get out even less which is not good for making friends!
So, you have to make an effort. Being in a community like at The Fields, under lockdown, you will see many of the same people daily. Here is the perfect opportunity to engage them. A great ice breaker is a compliment. Compliment them on their shoes, haircut, etc. People love to be complimented. After they reply “thank you” it is a great time to ask – “where are you from?” or “what are you studying?”.
Having an interest or passion in common is often the initial binder to a friendship. So, if you have a hobby, play sport or have a pastime, there is likely, a club or society on campus you can join. Covid has put a damper on many activities, so many of these clubs have had to reinvent how they do things. Don’t take it for granted that because of Covid they’re shut down, check first. You’ll meet like-minded people with a shared passion. Even if you’re a person who is shy or reserved, you’ll be able to join in conversations.
Work is always a great place to meet people. Getting a job on campus or in a place frequented by students is a great way to make friends. Pretoria’s establishments hire more students than in any other major city in South Africa.
Religious? Attending faith-based services is a great place to meet people and make friends. Faith and values bind people. Also, houses of worship often have events tailored towards young adults.
We didn’t start the blog with this suggestion because it’s the obvious one and we wanted to give you some additional options first. Look for campus social media groups related to your studies, sport, interest or hobby. Join and start commenting on posts. Groups often have online events, so attend them wherever possible. During lockdown this is a great way to establish a friendship that you can expand on as soon as it’s safe to get together.
We hope this post makes it a little easier to forge friendships that lasts decades. At The Fields we provide safe and affordable accommodation with facilities where you can enjoy countless hours hanging out and growing your friendships.
Whatever you do please be safe out there.
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