Miss frosh? Seeking some companions for the wild ride that is a U of T undergrad degree? Your social life needn’t suffer just because you couldn’t (or didn’t want to) spend a week chanting and marching around campus. The Varsity’s staff share some of their tricks and techniques for making friends after frosh.
Talk to people in your classes
Lectures are your best opportunity to meet people with similar interests — or just people stuck taking the same breadth requirement. Take a moment to turn to your neighbor and say “hey.” Remember to do it early, because by a few weeks in, attendance will have plummeted and most people will be all friend-ed up. Bonus points: you’ll have someone to get notes from when you’re too hungover to get out of bed, or just can’t be bothered to.
If you get the chance, try living away from home. Nothing boosts your life skills like having to cook and clean for yourself. Whether you’re living in residence, or in a basement apartment in the Annex, you’ll want to get along with your roommates. You’re sure to bond while doing the dishes, or cursing out your landlord for not fixing the plumbing.
Join a team
If you’re the sporty type, consider trying out for a team on campus (see “Get involved in sports at U of T,” pg. 14). Whether you’re competing for the honour of university and country or just knocking the ball around on back campus, nothing builds camaraderie or breaks the ice like a good collective workout.
Join a campus organization
The clubs fair is your first chance to sample the hundreds of clubs, associations and assorted other groups at U of T. But you can get involved with a campus group at any time; check them out on the Ulife website, or just drop by Sussex Clubhouse (see Downtown Campus map, pg. 12). Pursuing a hobby or supporting a cause together is a great way to get to know people.
U of T is filled with places to wile away the time between lectures and labs (see the opposite page for some examples). For those not in the mood to do readings for class, these spots provide a more exciting form of entertainment: people watching. Alternatively, take the chance to talk to some of your fellow idlers.
Getting involved in your faculty/ course union
There are lots of ways to engage with campus issues, and your course union is a great place to start. Working with your fellow students to make your program more worthwhile is a great way to build connections. So when a course union rep asks for volunteers, raise your hand.
Attend campus events
The college and faculty councils put on a number of social events throughout the year, during which you can mingle with your fellow students in the presence of good food and passable alcohol. Some events are college- or organization-specific, so make sure to check before you pay that tuxedo deposit.
Explore the city – students don’t need to be your only friends
One of the greatest parts of attending U of T is the city it’s in. Toronto caters to every conceivable interest. So head on down to one of the city’s multitude of museums, surplus of sporting events or plethora of parks to find some folks who share your exuberance for the city’s entertainment.
Get a campus job
Working on campus is a great way to earn cash (see “Make some money” on pg. 18 to get started). It’s also a great way to meet other students. Just do the socializing quietly if your employer is a U of T library.