Dear Aspect, how can I feel less nervous when talking to new people?
Feeling nervous when you’re in new situations is normal, so don’t panic! A lot of us feel nervous when talking to new people, so remember, you may be in the same boat, feeling worried, awkward, or shy. The first thing is, don’t try too hard! Try and relax as this will put the other person at ease, making it a more natural conversation. Focus on listening, doing this will take the pressure off of what you need to say next, and the conversation will flow more naturally. Also, smile! We look 100x more approachable with a smile on our faces.
Aspect… how can I avoid awkward silences in conversation?
Aren’t awkward silences just the worst? The first way to avoid them is by asking open-ended questions but the open questions are reliant on open answers, so don’t beat yourself up if it gets awkward. It takes two to tango! This applies to you as well, if the other person asks you a question, avoid one-word answers, give them something to feed off of. Asking ‘you’ questions are great for conversation, as someone can talk of their own experiences. Don’t try too hard to impress the other person, you don’t need to show that you’re smart, just be true to yourself and find a common ground.
Hi Aspect! Everyone knows about societies, but what other ways can I make friends at uni?
When we first join university, it’s sometimes thought that societies are one of the only ways to meet new people outside of your course or flat. Societies are great for bringing groups together with a common interest, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all of making friends. Other ways to meet new people are by getting a job, volunteering in the community, playing sports, joining Facebook groups (you’d be surprised), using communal spaces, or attending events. Be creative and push yourself out of your comfort zone for the best results!