Ask Aurora

Hi Aurora,

I’m new to UAA and Anchorage. Kind of bummed that I don’t really know anyone here, and I’m not really sure what I can do to meet new friends. A lot of my friends went to school out of state or stayed back home, so I’m kind of on my own here. I’d like to find friends here on campus, but I’m not sure where to start.

What can I do?

Warmest regards,

New to the Neighborhood

Feeling anxious about meeting new people can be challenging, but overcoming loneliness can lead to new adventures. Photo by Robert Gant.

Dear New to the Neighborhood,

It is understandable that you feel anxious about socialization. A new semester and a new location is the perfect opportunity to create new bonds with your peers. Realize that you are not alone in this situation. A fresh start leaves many freshmen initially searching for new friends.

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In this day and age, it is unlikely that friends will just come to you. In order to show others that you are interested in creating friendships, you will have to put yourself out there. If the gesture is not received well, simply keep searching. Do not be discouraged if one relationship doesn’t work out. There are plenty of students at UAA who are looking for friendships and share your values and interests.

It is helpful to introduce yourself to the person you end up sitting next to within the first week of class. An easy ice breaker is to ask questions about classwork or to compare notes on lectures.

If you feel comfortable enough, ask a classmate to exchange phone numbers with you. An added perk to knowing your classmates is that if either of you misses a day of class, you will be kept in the loop. This also is a great way to keep track of assignments or set up study sessions. Be sure not to abuse the privilege of having a classmate’s number, however.

Take advantage of the common areas on campus, like the quad or the library. People will often gather near upcoming classes. Before class would be a good time to strike up a conversation.

UAA is home to various student clubs and organizations where you can meet people who have similar interests and goals. Unlike classes, clubs are structured to be social. There are countless clubs, from the Accounting club to the UAA Glee Club. Visit life.uaa.alaska.edu to learn more about clubs and their meeting times.

Events are another enjoyable social venue hosted through the university. Look for flyers posted around campus, the UAA master calendar on the UAA website or university social media pages, such as @uaa_photos on Instagram.

Remember that college is the beginning of an exciting journey where you can make friends that might even last a lifetime. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and spark a new connection with a fellow student.

Sincerely,

Aurora Boreowlis

If you have a question you would like to be answered by Aurora, email [email protected] in under 250 words.