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  • Christina S

Making New Friends During Unprecedented Times

This semester is anything like no other, with a halt on so many activities around campus and most lessons being reduced to online E-Learning classes. Especially for those of us who are just entering Uni this academic year, the Covid-19 situation might be a real bummer to your Uni life experience.

However, that’s not to say that you can’t make any new friends during these times. Sure, it's going to be hard, but the friendships that you make during this time will definitely be ones you’ll cherish and remember.

If you are new to Uni, a freshman who just moved into campus or maybe a senior continuing your stay in Halls and RCs, the zoning system being implemented right now might damper your spirits. But all’s not lost! Let’s hear from one of our freshmen staying on campus, who shares how he coped with the zoning measures and made new friends!

Ian, a freshman from FASS and currently staying in Tembusu College shares that the zoning system has not had much impact on his opportunities to make new friends on campus. He says that the college is separated based on the undergraduates’ designated zone areas and further segregated by sub-zones. Each sub-zone is headed by a zone committee that plans zone activities for the undergraduates.

When asked to give advice to those who want to make some new friends on campus, he says, “Get involved in orientation camps, join interest groups and participate in zone activities!”

These activities range from carnival games to electronic games, mostly helmed by the committee to take charge. So, get out of your comfort shell, participate in activities you are interested in and you are bound to make friends who share the same interest as you!

For those who are not staying on campus, be rest assured! Not only do you not have to deal with sticky zoning regulations and rules on campus, but you can also make friends in the comforts of your home. Here are 3 tips that you can follow to make sure you are making the best out of your uni life experience and basically not suffer from having FOMO.

1. Join societies and clubs!

It’s okay if you are not engaging in any hall or college activities because NUS has many societies and interest groups that you can choose from. Some of the societies hold their events on campus and that is an excellent way to meet new people physically while doing something you are interested in! Or if you are a couch potato like me, societies are also holding their events online so start signing up for their Welcome Teas, auditions, and get involved!

2. Make friends with your group/tutorial mates!

Now that everything's online, you will also be meeting your group and tutorial mates online for the first time! Sounds scary? Fear not and do give our previous article a read if you want to know more about how to go about doing that! Now that breakout rooms are a thing, you can be randomly assigned to groups with people you wouldn’t have approached physically during tutorials. This is a good way to start talking and finding out more about them and maybe you guys will click! Having a group chat and talking about other hobbies apart from assignments is also a good way to bond. Even better, play online games during meetings to break the ice! (and then go back to doing work of course….)

3. Initiate a Meet-Up

Perhaps you’ve joined a society and are involved in some of their events and you’ve also got some group mates to work with for your upcoming project. But nothing beats face to face meet ups. This time, instead of doing an outdoor activity, it’ll be good to have a chill chit chat session just to let loose a little. Who knows? This might be the start of a very long-standing friendship.

These tips and tricks are all talk and no action. Nothing beats putting yourself out there and making the first move. With almost everything being moved online, having a group of friends to support you through this semester will definitely be helpful. So drop a message, say hi and introduce yourself and hopefully, you’ll be on your way to starting new and precious friendships!

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