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New to College = New Friendships

Dana Quenville | Student Success Advisor, Business Studies | News | August 29th, 2005

Well, you made it. Welcome to Fanshawe College. A new adventure is beginning, but you may be feeling a bit isolated, especially if you are from out-of-town and you don't have friends who came here with you.

It's time to make new friends. Although this can be exciting and scary at the same time, friends can provide support, fun, ideas and much more. They are often our first source of advice, encouragment and information.

It's a good idea to have a few friends so that you will not feel like you are leaning too much on one person. You will also be sure that someone will be available when you need them most.

Here are a few tips to help you establish new friendships:

- Understand that this is an adjustment period and it may take a bit of time to make good friends.
- Start conversations with people sitting beside you in class. It may feel awkward but think of it as doing the other person a favour: they will feel less awkward.
- Try listening first and talking later. Most people are happy to talk about favourite movies, books, television programs, hobbies or sports. These topics provide links to other interesting stuff.
- As you become more comfortable, talk about your experiences and feelings - you want others to get a sense of who you are, and they will be more likely to share their experiences with you. Be positive and encouraging in your acceptance of them.
- Participate in class discussions.
- Get involved in activities and clubs on campus. These are great places to meet people because the sport or activity provides a natural icebreaker to get past any initial awkwardness.
- Don't rush friendship. Some people don't have time or room for new friends and others are slower to warm up to others.

Friends form a central part of your personal support network. Making friends is part of taking good care of yourself, and it gives you the opportunity to be a support to others when they are in need.

Friendship - take the first step. Breathe deeply and go for it!

Dana Quenville is the Student Success Advosir for the Business and Management Division. If you are in that division, she is your contact for advice or referral to appropriate services. You can contact her at or visit for more information
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