Living in Res is a fantastic way to start your life at Monash Uni, not just because you are living so close to where you study (which means you can sleep in a little longer and not miss your classes), but because of the people who you get to live with. Where else do you get the chance to make friends from all over Australia and the world, all without leaving home? It can be hard to make friends in a new place, but in Res, all the hard work is done for you. The fantastic RAs, Orientation-Teams, and other residents will make sure you have the chance to meet your fantastic neighbours (who are about to be your friends). There are so many things to look forward to when living the life of a Uni student. University living opens your eyes to a whole new world. There are many avenues to explore within the University. If you enjoy socialising then there are so many opportunities to meet people who may become lifelong friends, and you may even find your future partner at University.
Try to make friends during orientation (O-Week, Re-O-Week in 2nd Semester), the earlier the better. If you don’t get in and start socialising you may find it harder to make friends later, as uni will have started, and everyone will be getting into a routine. Orientation is a great place to start as everyone else will be in the same situation. There are, however, other opportunities to make friends, for instance joining a sporting club can connect you with people that have similar interests.
If you miss the MRS Orientation program or Re-O-Week there are a number of ways in which you can make new friends within your residence. Firstly you should go and see your RA or an RST member who will be able to introduce you to other students within your residence. Also you should attend social, sporting or academic events within your residence/site which will give you a greater opportunity to meet new friends.
A great way to make friends is to say yes when invited along by others. It is a great idea to take up the opportunities presented to meet new people, whether it is at a party or other social occasions. Joining clubs is a great way to make new friends with similar interests.
Shyness is usually associated with people who have difficulties initiating friendships – you are probably really comfortable (and loud) with people you know, but with new people it can be much harder. If you are finding that shyness is getting in the way of making new friends maybe you could let others know that you are a bit shy. Hopefully, this will result in them initiating conversations which will take a lot of the pressure off you. But really think about it, what is the worst thing which can happen when you initiate the conversation yourself? That’s right; you may not make a new friend. As long as you are comfortable with this possible outcome, then you have nothing to worry about.
There are a number of things you could be feeling once you have left home. You may be feeling excited about starting a new experience. On the other hand there is always the fear of the unknown. Isolation and loneliness may also be experienced, especially if you have travelled a great distance or don’t know anyone. Don’t forget that others are probably feeling the same way. The best way to fight your fears is to get involved. Getting involved is the best way to establish friendships.
Experiences of homesickness aren’t a ‘domestic’ or ‘International student’ issue – some local students (who’s home may be just an hour away) can find the transition very challenging, whilst an international student might find the experience relatively easy. What is most important is how you are coping – and if you are struggling, then talking to others (especially your RA) is a great way of finding solutions!
Homesickness is very common when you have moved out of your family home. Staying in contact with old friends is a great way to prevent homesickness. Talking to your friends will stop you being completely cut off from home. Although there are people you will miss, it is important to think about what you are gaining not missing while being away from home. Think of all the great stories you will be able to tell your friends and family. And think how much fun you
Then make and appointment to speak with your College or Deputy College Head. They will be able to help you with a plan of action to make connections and friends within your Residence – and get the most out of Res life!