An Idiot’s Guide To: Making Friends

Worried that you could be a social moth rather than a social butterfly? Fret not as Leah Driscoll shows you how to navigate UCC’s social minefield.

As a new academic year dawns upon us and first year orientations begin, the more sociable, stranger friendly side of you freshers must emerge. Over the next few years of college, you may form lifelong friendships or possibly meet your future spouse. Do you want avoid dying alone and instead become the newest social butterfly of UCC? You don’t need natural charm, or a great personality, oh no. Skip the awkwardness of orientation by following thesefailsafe tips to making friends in college.

Dress appropriately

First impressions are important, and your outfit is the first thing people will notice about you. Look for a nice friendly t-shirt like the one below. Not only would it be a great talking point, but it would bring you one step closer to making friends.

Don’t use peoples’ names

Instead refer to them as ‘future friend’. This lets a person know that you are considering them as a possible companion and hope that they are doing the same. While it may get confusing referring to everyone you meet as ‘future friend’, it will also make you seem popular in front of groups of people.

Allow no room for personal space

By standing as close to your future friend as possible, you are letting them know that you are open to socialising. Things like immediate hugging, playful punching and face stroking may seem a bit forward, but they are the perfect way of letting a person know that you are super friendly. A good rule of thumb would be to allow no more than three inches between you and the next person.  If it feels like you are breathing on them then you’re doing it right.

Don’t answer personal questions

By personal, I mean anything about yourself at all. Don’t tell people where you are from, or what school you went to, or where you are living. By giving little about yourself away, you are being mysterious, which is bound to make people take an interest in you.

Namedrop

Be sure and do this while only referring to other friends who the person you are talking to doesn’t know.  This will reassure a person that other people find you to be a suitable friend and therefore they should consider you as the same.

Smile

And don’t stop, even if the topic of conversation takes a serious turn. Continuing to smile while discussing the huge loss of life in the latest natural disaster, or the devastating repercussions of war will let a person know that you are always up for fun, and won’t let a downer get in the way of that.

Mood Change

Allow yourself to be taken on a rollercoaster of emotion when talking to a potential friend. Moving from happiness to hysteria at the drop of the hat will make for an engaging and exciting conversation. Be sure not to forget the previous tip of smiling regardless. Nothing makes anger more attractive than a large grin to go along with it.

Play staring competitions

An important part of this is not to let the other person know that you have started this game. Not only will this give your conversation its desired intensity, but will also provide an exciting surprise as you scream ‘I WIN!’ every time the other person blinks.

Share secrets

The more personal the better. Aim to do this as quickly as possible. Something like “Hey, one time when I was five I shat myself in a car seat”  will do just the trick in creating an immediate bond between you and your new companion. If they return the secret sharing, regardless of what it is, tell them that their secret is extremely embarrassing and they shouldn’t tell people that. This then makes your secret less embarrassing and gives you the upper hand in your future friendship.

Avoid showering

Yes, this could give the impression that you have B.O, but it could also give the impression that your unwashed self was out partying the night before. Having no time for a shower suggests that you are too popular to be hygienic and people will start queuing to be in with a chance of hanging out with you.

Prepare Trivia

There is nothing like a good factual oddity to forge friendships. My recommendation would be to write some trivia down and keep it in your pocket for future use. Filling every available silence with “Did you know…” is a sure fire way of being considered the centre of banter.

Take Photos

Specifically take photos of your future friends. Taking photos of people you don’t know very well with either with your camera or phone will give others the idea that you are cool and artsy and may even get you a few more followers on Instagram.

Use Facebook

Regardless of how short a time you have spent with someone, adding someone on Facebook is crucial to becoming their real life friend. So what if you didn’t even speak to them, you shared a row of seats and you also shared some oxygen. Look at every status and tagged photo of theirs. This will mean that you can learn about details of their life and then recite those details back to them in person, which will serve as a great ice breaker the next time you meet.

While making friends is never easy, these tips should set you on your way to making at least half a friend over the next few years. It cannot be guaranteed that these tips will do the trick for everyone you meet, but having a game plan never hurts. In the meantime, if you come across someone who refers to you as ‘future friend’, you know you have met a keeper. The both of you can thank me later.