Berkeley is known for its sizable student population. As newly admitted freshmen, it is daunting to meet new people from diverse locations across the world. But that fear can be overcome by stepping out of your comfort zone (despite how frightening that may seem) to meet potential lifelong friends and a support group that will help you through your Berkeley journey.
- If you live in the dorms, start by introducing yourself to your floormates. The classic advice is to buy a door stopper or devise some mechanism to prop your door open to meet new people. A proactive tactic is to walk into doors that are left open and introduce yourself! Keep in mind that other people in the dorms are also excited and nervous to meet new people.
- Join school organizations and clubs. Don’t be afraid to sign up for clubs during the annual Calapalooza (a college version of club rush) or even halfway through the semester. Clubs are always looking for new active members to join their cause. The best part is that Berkeley has over 1,000 student groups to cater to diverse interests.
- In addition to joining clubs, attend events hosted by school organizations. Many school groups host guest speakers, networking events, social events, and much more! By attending these events, you get to engage in activities you love while meeting people who share the same passions as you do. Even if you don’t like to socialize, volunteering at events is a great way to spend time with people.
- Meet new people in class. On the first day of class, talk to the people sitting around you. This is one of the best ways to meet new people. You have the chance to bond over assignments and midterms, and if you like the people you met, you can ask to hang out outside of study groups. This can be anything from having lunch together or going hiking. If you don’t want to hang outside of class, that’s completely fine. You can still greet them on campus.
During your freshman year, one concern is not being able to meet the right people or finding your social niche in Berkeley. Even if you don’t meet the right people during your freshman year, always remember that we have many more years ahead of us. You never know who you will meet next semester, so don’t give up!