Meeting the People, Breaking the Ice

Jasreen Gupta/Photography Intern

One aspect that adds to the inevitable nervousness an incoming freshman, new student or a shy person experiences is the fear of meeting and approaching new people.

Many people worry about how they act in front of others, whether they come off as interesting or that they are simply embarrassing themselves. But really, the only important thing is being honest and confident about yourself. Your subtle charm (everyone has some) and fluidity will take its course somewhere down the line.

UC Irvine’s Welcome Week provides the perfect opportunity to make new friends. The variety of events throughout the week will allow you to approach fellow Anteaters who may or may not share similar interests and hobbies as yourself. You never know who you might end up meeting!

The booths set up on Ring Road have an endless variety of people who share the passions of sports, books, leadership, music, friendship, community service and much more. Grab a flyer, learn something and make a friend.

To incoming freshmen, I’ve got some advice for all of you.

I’m sure most of you are extremely excited to come across your thrilling new experiences — and trust me, there will be plenty! For those of you who are living in the dorms, don’t be shy! All freshmen are in the same boat. Everyone wants to get to know each other in this new environment that you are all settling and mingling in.

Take the time to get to know your hallmates. They might become your core group of friends throughout your years at UCI.

Don’t be afraid to break out of your shell and be the first to say hi! From the get-go, most of you don’t know each other.

Living in the dorms is the perfect way to initiate easy conversation, make lasting friendships and genuine memories.

Another great way to meet a new buddy is simply taking ride on the ASUCI shuttles. Many students take the bus multiple times a day, but most people take the next empty seat, sit in the back of the bus, or throw on some headphones.  Nobody really starts up a conversation unless they are already friends. The bus ride is about 10 minutes long. Why not make a new friend during that 10-minute ride? Imagine if you spoke to one new person each time you took the bus. I’d say that’s a lot of new friends.

Other than that, spice up your routine by joining a sorority or fraternity. Grab your roommates, get dolled up and head to a party. Join a campus club to fundraise for an important cause or give back to your community through service. Put yourself out there to make new friends, make deep conversations and grab a few laughs.