Why You Shouldn’t Avoid Attending University Events Alone
One of the most underrated but best things about going to university is the extensive range of activities and social events offered to students – especially international students. Not only are these events great for networking but also they can really help you find your place at your new university.
However, sadly, it can sometimes be hard to find people to go with. Perhaps you’re an international student who doesn’t know many people or you’re faced with the common scenario where your friends are deterred by the thought of spending any more time on campus than necessary. Either way, if there is an event that interests you, take advantage of it! Even if this means going alone, you should still go, because (usually) it’s still worth it.
I am talking from experience when I say there is no harm in attending university events alone. During my first week of exchange, I knew no one. So I decided to take myself to the local pub for an international student meet up, and it was totally worth it. As it happened, I ended up spending Christmas and New Year with the friends I made that night. Similarly, when I returned home, I went solo to an invitation-only networking event where I didn’t know anyone else that was invited. I wasn’t the only one that went alone, which helped me to find people to hang out with, even if it was just for the night this time.
Of course, the thought of going alone brings up all kinds of hesitations like, “What if it’s obvious I am alone?” and, “What if everyone already has friends?” and even, “Is this going to be really awkward?”
It’s natural to want to avoid awkward situations, but the thing about university events is that they are especially welcoming! When you first arrive, someone will greet you and point out students who are often looking to meet other people too. This makes it so much easier so that all you need to do next is, look for someone else standing alone or a small group and go over and introduce yourself. The fact that you are all there means you already have something in common to get the conversation going. Don’t think you need to be an outgoing, extroverted person either; I certainly am not and it wasn’t a problem.
Aside from the general networking events, joining a university society or club that matches your interests is often the best way to take advantage of university activities. Plus they are always looking for new members! Whether you’re interested in a sports society or something more niche, like a Harry Potter fan club, be aware that whatever you choose will (more often than not) show you a good time. In fact, many people join sports societies simply because of their social events; whether it is nights of crazy drinking games and parties, movie nights or trips away. It often doesn’t even matter if you don’t play the sport itself!
So, go for it! Start taking every opportunity you can to attend university events and join one of the societies if that’s what it takes. Whatever you do, don’t let the thought of going alone turn you away, because these events make it especially easy to make friends – even if it is just for the night!