Student Life

Finding friends in first year

Joining clubs and sports teams, and getting involved on campus, connects you.

Jan 26, 2016

One of my biggest worries when I entered post-secondary was that it’d be hard to make friends. See, I grew up in rural Alberta where it’s pretty normal to go to the same school from kindergarten to grade 12. Going to a small school in a northern community meant that everyone knew each other and, by default, your close friends were the kids who live across the street from you, or at least within walking distance.

Going to post-secondary changes that dynamic completely. I thought a lot about how I’d meet people and make friends in my first year on such a big campus.

Joining clubs to meet new people

I didn’t want to miss out on the social aspect of campus life, so I decided to make an effort to connect with fellow students outside of the classroom. I figured if I made an effort to get involved, I’d meet other students who shared my interests.

In my first year I joined the Aboriginal Students Club which was a great way for me to meet other Indigenous students. Joining this club gave me a real sense of home because I could talk openly about my experiences in post-secondary from an Indigenous perspective and be understood and supported.

Make friends on a sports team

I also decided to try out for the cross-country team. I’ve always been a runner. I ran cross-country in junior high and high school so I figured this was something I’d enjoy. I went in with a bit of hesitation because I figured everyone on the team already knew each other, but that was far from the truth.

We were all different ages, in different programs, and from diverse backgrounds. We connected over a shared love of running, and over the course of the year became good friends, all because of one common interest.

Get involved on campus

These are just two examples of how I made friends in post-secondary by getting involved on campus. There are loads of other ways to connect with your peers and find common ground. Join an athletics team, get on student council, volunteer, write for the school newspaper, join a study group or campus club.

You’d be surprised how many student clubs exists to bring together students with similar interests, hobbies, cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs, and languages. Here are just a few examples of clubs that exist at post-secondary institutions:

  • Hiking Club

  • Jazz Band

  • NDP Club

  • Association of Latin American Students

  • Hillel Jewish Students Association

  • Poker Club

  • Anime Club

  • Chinese Students’ Union

  • Game Developers Club

  • Hip Hop Club

  • Toastmasters

  • Introverts Club

  • Muslim Students Associations

  • Model United Nations Club

  • African Students Association

  • Vegetarian Club

  • Catholic Christian Club

  • Bangladesh Students’ Alliance

  • Fashion Club

  • Aviation Club

Do any of those intrigue you? Do any surprise you? I’m sure if you look hard enough you’ll find a club that interests you. If not, you can start your own club! I hope this post eases any worry you might have about making friends in post-secondary, and inspires you to get involved and enrich your campus experience


MacEwan University

Online courses really suit my learning style because they are flexible and allow me to focus on one course at a time.

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