Here's A Guide To Making Friends at UNSW!

BY Caleb Burke & Sana Madan

Look, nobody wants to be sitting alone in every class for the trimester.

So, unless you’re at peace with talking to absolutely nobody throughout your uni experience (if that’s you, pop off legend), you may as well risk it all and find some friends! Oh, you don’t know how? Well, here are a few ways you introverted folks can kick off your social lives at UNSW. 

O-Week Events 

Okay, like in the super-crazy-impossibly rare chance that you don't want to join a society there will still be events during O-Week to make friends. There will be heaps of tours around uni for first-years where you can meet new people. There's also speed-friending, comedy nights, movie nights to meet new people at.

Here's a lil' peek at last years O-Week shenanigans.

Here's a non-complete little list of events Arc is hosting during O-Week for you to meet your buddy for life!

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Join A Society!

A helpful tip: you can make friends anywhere as long as you show up consistently. 

As a first-year, try and make an effort to go to everything because only then is when you realise what you’re ACTUALLY into. You usually regret the things you don’t do, so why not do it all?
- Sana

The list of UNSW societies can be found HERE.

  • You wanna learn to pole dance? Pole Society, bro.
  • Feeling like having a hot girl summer? We literally have a Hot Girl Summer Society.
  • Wanna produce memey content for students to enjoy? Then, come join the Blitz gang!

If you're really really reeealllyy not sure which one to join, or if you're kinnddaaa interested but a little hesitant (which is probably a lot of us) then be sure to check them all out at O-week.

Becoming A Subcommittee Member of a Society 

Now, if you're super into meeting new people, there will be heaps of societies looking for subcommittee (subcom) members who help run the society under some guidance from an executive team! But most importantly, it's an amazing way to throw yourself into the centre of a group of people with common interests. Applications for subcom positions usually start a bit after O-Week.

Uni Camps 

If you’re looking for the LITERAL wildest experience of your life, any camps are the place to be. Much fun and games and optional drinks, plus some fun and games with some optional drinking. I can't emphasise fun, games, and optional drinks enough.

Camps are huge! I went by myself in first-year and now half of my friends are the ones I made from camp, so that was really helpful! I think it’s great since you make friends within your degree too, so if you’re a law kid, go to the LawSoc camp, or if you’re in psychology go to PsychSoc camp. That way you can choose later to do classes together or something, which is fun.
- Sana

Instead of describing the magic of first-year camp myself, here is a TikTok which captures it all.

@unswartssoc UNSW ArtsSoc Camp tix still available ✨ get in quick so you know what true love feels like #unsw #fypシ #camp #unilife ♬ original sound - UNSW Arts Society

When O-Week starts up this year, you’ll begin to see HEAPS of people advertising their camps on the UNSW Discussion Group. Keep a lookout and if any seem interesting to you then definitely sign up.

(Oh, and if you're into drinks and partying - that'll be there for you too)

Lectures & Tutorials

Just like Cady from Mean Girls, maybe you’ll meet your Aaron Samuels in the classroom. Who knows? You might feel like you’re the only one in your class who doesn't know anybody - but in reality, almost nobody knows anyone.

Be smooth! Once you get to your lecture/tutorial, ask another student if you’re in the right place, even if you’re 100% confident. Ask the person next to you if you can borrow a pen and wing a convo from there. If you’re really lost for a conversation, ask them what day it is.

Even if your classes are online, a lot of people create course group chats on Facebook and Discord. Sometimes they're used for sharing resources or for asking questions about lectures which made zero sense - but sometimes it becomes a place for just chatting about life or crying about leaving assignments to the last minute. This is a crazy good opportunity to make friends online!

Be on the lookout for people creating course group chats on the UNSW Discussion group!

Work Friends

Okay, here is a REAL left-field response on how to make friends. Sometimes, you make uni friends outside of university entirely.

I actually met most of my uni friends at work, which is a place not a lot of people expect to make friends, to be honest. Especially if you work with a lot of younger people, the chances of them going to UNSW aren’t as slim as you'd think!

To add to that, you can work at uni too! Arc (the organisation on campus that makes the student experience as VIBRANT as possible) are often hiring UNSW students. I’ll just put the link to that HERE.

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Anandi Ganguly