Having attended Residential School a variety of times now, I’ve learnt a few tricks of the trade. One of the main skills I’ve mastered is interacting with new classmates and making these moments as least awkward as possible. Attending residential school can be daunting at times, but finding people to hang with or work on assignments with will make your time at uni so much more enjoyable.
But if you’re not quite sure on how to introduce yourself, or your just down right nervous, then here are a few ways you can break the ice with your fellow classmates who are all in the same pickle.
Everyone’s in the same boat as you.
Chances are, you won’t know anyone at Res School. But lucky for you, everyone else is in this same position or they have been in the past – don’t forget this! Approach people, introduce yourself and be friendly! You don’t need to worry about rejection because everyone else is looking to make some mates too.
Make friends with your roommates.
For those students who are staying on campus for Res School – hang out in the common area as much as possible! Study or do your assignments, and others might even join you. One of the best conversation starters is asking what everyone is eating – you never know, you might discover that your classmates also have a deep love for Mexican just like you. So eat your main meals in the common area and start making conversation!
Don’t sit in the same spot each day.
Moving around each day will give you a variety of people to chat to, and by the end of the week you’ll probably be friends with the entire class.
Show you’re interest in your studies.
This is probably my number one ice breaker. What are you here for? You’re studying. Which means you probably know a lot about your course, so talk about that! Ask someone what part of the course they like most or what they’re hoping to do after. There’s so many questions to be asked! If you’re stuck on a particular topic, then ask the person next to you. They’ll either know the answer (which will start a convo), or they won’t and will want to know the answer too (cue both of you asking the lecturer).
Use group work to your advantage.
Group work really is a blessing at Res School. Why? Because you’ve been automatically assigned people to talk to, whether you like it or not! So try your best to join in, make conversation and get to know everyone in your group.
Think long term.
Once you’ve made a friend or two, ask them what subjects they’re doing for the rest of the year. Who knows, you might have found yourself an online study best friend. Next time you’ll be a lot less nervous knowing you’ll have a mate or two there.
Putting on a friendly face is essential. Even if you’re a little scared to approach someone, you’ll be more inviting with a big old friendly smile.