Making new connections

How often do we say 'hi' to the person sitting next to us? Get some helpful advice on how to build new relationships.

Meeting new people

We all naturally seek social connections and crave relationships. Feeling as though we are connected to others helps us function better—we become more resilient, feel happier, and feel as though we belong somewhere.

Download and read our short guide to learn more about how to make new connections.

Putting yourself out there

Going to university provides us with an opportunity to meet heaps of new people. This can feel exciting and a bit overwhelming at the same time. It’s a bit like when you started high school, or your new job—even though it can be a bit nerve racking, you just need to bite the bullet and put yourself out there.

Breaking the ice

Luckily, because you are going to university, you have some common ground to help break the ice. Some easy ways to use university as the foundation for making connections are:

  • organising to share lecture notes with someone
  • being involved in group assignments
  • joining a study group
  • saying hi to someone next to you in a lecture.

Be yourself

When we first meet people, it feels quite natural to portray an ideal version of ourselves. This is often called our image. Often we attach our image to labels like ‘I’m an (insert degree here) student’, or ‘I work as a (insert job title)’.

To build stronger connections with people we meet, we have to move past just showing our image, and show our true selves, or ‘authentic’ self.  By showing our authentic self, we become “real” and easier to connect with, as people can relate to you.

We encourage you to show (and recognise in others) your human side, common side, and positive side.

Human sides

Human sides are things that make yourself and others human, for example:

  • a little bit grumpy in the mornings
  • can be known to road rage
  • needs to learn not to butt in when others are talking
  • bossy
  • people pleaser
  • loves to be the centre of attention

Common sides

Common sides are things that you may have in common with others, for example:

  • are you a brother, sister, mother, father, aunty, uncle?
  • coffee lover
  • a child of divorce or separation
  • sports and exercise preferences
  • reading
  • morning people
  • music
  • culture
  • religion

Positive sides

Positive sides are things that are positive human traits, for example:

  • fun
  • energetic
  • dependable
  • trustworthy
  • honest
  • confident
  • resilient
  • a good listener
  • creative

Discover ways to connect

Check out the 10 ways to get connected at university, or pick up a copy of the Wellbeing—Connect brochure around campus.

Speak to someone

Mauri Ora—Health and Counselling

Monday to Friday, 8.30 am–5.00 pm
Level 1, Student Union Building, Kelburn campus