If you’re like me, then you’re unfortunate enough to be a commuting student in your first year at a new school. Not living in residence can make you feel like you’re not fully experiencing the university life but if you follow my tips, you’ll fit in and find friends just fine!

1.) Join a group, club or team: Whether you choose to write for the school paper or join an intramural team, the point is to get out there and find people with common interests.

2.) Prime classroom position: Although it’s not high school, many classes expect you to do lots of group work. Since students have been trained that classrooms have assigned seating (although university classes do not), most students will sit in the same seat all year. So before you pick your seat — look around! The person next to you could be your best friend or your worst nightmare.

3.) Take a break in a student lounge: When you’re between classes, a great place to chill and chat with other students is one of the many lounge areas for students. The Carnegie Building basement or the Student Center both have comfy couches to relax in and lots of students looking for a friendly face.

4.) Be vocal in class: University is all about discussion and debate so if you have an opinion in class, say it! People will be much more likely to say, “Hey, aren’t you the guy in my CT220 class?” if they actually know you’re in that class.

5.) Try to make friends in res: Obviously one of the most important aspects of university life is the social scene. In order to head out for a night at Jackhammers, you need a place to go back to in your drunken state. Find friends who are willing to let you crash at their place. This will be the most important step in enjoying your university experience!

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