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 neighbours.
Orientation and University O-Week
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.
But I missed Orientation!
If you miss the MRS Orientation program there are a number of ways in which you can make new friends within your residence. First, you should contact 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.
If (potential) friends invite you out…
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.
What if I am feeling shy?
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.
Don’t worry – almost everyone is going through the same thing as you (or has already been through it)
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 to find help.
Now you have two homes
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 and family will help maintain that connection to home. Although there are people you will miss, it is important to think about the positives of being away from home, not the negatives. Think of all the great stories you will be able to tell your friends and family.
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!