One of the great benefits of attending a top-tier university like Texas is meeting lots of people—classmates, lab mates, teachers, dorm mates, support staff, and other interesting individuals you’ll encounter in Austin—many of whom have histories of experiences that are quite unlike your own.
For students who’ve had lots of practice meeting and interacting with new people, this will be a joy. For students with less practice, it might take a little push to get yourself to approach someone new to you, introduce yourself, and start a conversation. Regardless of how much practice you’ve had in doing this, you should make an effort to meet someone new almost every day. You’ll be surprised at how welcoming many of your peers will be when you initiate a conversation. A few may seem a little reticent, of course, and a few might blow you off entirely, but most will become acquaintances that you’ll be happy to have met. And a few of those might become very good friends.
Some Examples of Lil’ Pushes
- Sit in a different seat in class each day or each week, and introduce yourself to the people sitting next to you.
- Talk to tablers on the West Mall or on Speedway. See what their clubs are all about.
- Attend office hours and ask the TA or professor for their Austin restaurant recommendations. Also, ask them a question about their research or your coursework.
- Grab your roommate and introduce yourself to everyone on your floor.
- Turn to your neighbor in class and ask a question or, even better, try to explain a new concept or theory in your own words.
- Ask your professor to incorporate group discussion and collaboration during class. Promote discussion among classmates.