Additionally, the councils of the upper classes
Making friends can be a challenge. Fortunately, BU has over 36,000 undergraduate and graduate students in the same boat, navigating the awkward dance of presentations and polite conversations. You’re not alone.
“Just put yourself out there,” recommends Navya Kotturu (CAS’24, Sargent’24), a biochemistry and molecular biology major who is currently vice president of student government. “Start a conversation with the person next to you in class, talk to someone at a club meeting, or introduce yourself to the people on your floor in your dorm.”
“Break the fear of saying ‘Hey’ to new people,” says Jacob Lindner (COM’23), a major publicist who is part of the BU swim team and has a passion for photography and dancing. “Our campus is big enough that you can see a new person or group every day, and while it can be nerve-wracking to put yourself out there, go for it.”
If you need more ideas, check out our 24 ways to make friends at BU:
1. Howard Thurman Center Coffee and Conversation
Coffee & Conversation is a college tradition, held weekly Fridays from 3-5 p.m. at the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground. Students, faculty, and staff come together to discuss current events, hot topics, and controversial ideas while practicing civil speech and engaging with their peers. Sign up for the HTC newsletter to learn about upcoming events and meeting topics.
2. Do your homework in a (slightly) noisy place
Exit your dorm and head to the George Sherman Union, Mugar Memorial Library, or Kilachand Hall study room on the top floor of the building, with views of the Boston skyline. It won’t work for something you really need to focus on, but doing your homework in a public place means being around people. Who knows, you might bump into someone from one of your classes or someone from your floor.
3. Keep your door open
At least for the first few weeks of school, keep your dorm door open if you’re inside and hanging out. Roommates are more likely to stop and say hello this way. Plus, Roommates are the perfect buddies for lunch, working out at FitRec, or walking to class.
4. Make an effort to talk to everyone on your floor
Knock on their door and introduce yourself. Or say hello when you walk down the hall. It helps to know the names, majors, and hometowns of the people who live on your floor and in your building. Also, be sure to show up for your RA, as you never know when you might need one.
5. Attend Floor Meetings
These meetings often take place the first week of school and occur several times throughout the semester. Organized by your RA, meetings provide important updates and information and are an opportunity to befriend people on your floor.
6. Join a club (or several)
BU has over 450 student organizations. Clubs are a great way to meet people who share the same interests. According to the Office of Student Activities, the most popular clubs at BU are cultural organizations and community and engagement groups. View the full list of student organizations here.
7. Introduce yourself to people on either side of you in class
Instead of checking your phone while waiting for class to start, chat with the people sitting around you. Ask them for their names and exchange phone numbers, or create a class group chat on GroupMe. Classmates are also a great source for answering questions about your course.
8. Volunteer at the Community Service Center
The Community Service Center (CSC) is a great place to make friends while helping others. There are tons of ways to get involved, ranging from one-time service opportunities to longer programs like the Freshman Outreach Program (FYSOP) and alternate service break trips.
9. Get involved with Umoja
Umoja is BU’s black student union. Umoja means “unity” in Swahili and the organization’s mission is to unite the black community at Boston University. Check their Instagram page for upcoming events and ways to get involved.
10. Meet another astronomy fan at the Coit Observatory Open House
Do you have plans for Wednesday night? The Coit Observatory, on the roof of the College of Arts & Sciences building (725 Comm Ave), has hosted open houses for the public since 1967. The free program begins at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays during the fall and summer months. winter, and offers visitors the opportunity to look through telescopes and observe the night sky. Tickets are required and can be reserved online at 11 a.m. the Thursday before the open house.
11. Club Sports
Teammates are known to have incredibly close bonds. Joining a club sport like baseball, volleyball, soccer, sailing, figure skating, water polo, or golf will keep you active, occupy your free time, and introduce you to new people.
12. Invite friends to your floor to become Boston tourists for a day
Go window shopping on Newbury Street or walk the Freedom Trail. Picnic in the public garden and people watch as the willows blow in the breeze above you. Head to the North End and get a cannoli, a slice of pizza, or an arancini rice ball. The options are endless, so get out there and start exploring your new hometown.
13. Take a one-credit course at FitRec
Are you looking to be active? Add a one-credit PDP course to your schedule. FitRec offers several classes, such as yoga, martial arts, dance, weightlifting, figure skating, rock climbing, and sailing. Why not get active and try something new?
14. Go on an outing with the BU Outing Club (BUOC)
A desire for adventure and exploration? Join the BU Outing Club and take part in year-round trips including hiking, canoeing, biking, cross-country skiing, backpacking, and more. Everyone is welcome, regardless of experience level.
15. Have coffee on campus with a classmate
Students love caffeine, so why not invite a classmate over for coffee? Bring some homework and head to Pavement, Caffe Nero, Starbucks, or Dunks. You can also order your coffee to head to BU Beach to relax by the Charles River.
16. Meet at the Newbury Center
The Newbury Center supports and celebrates first generation students at BU and runs mentorship programs and events throughout the year. Check out the centre’s website to find out more about the Newbury Center and ways to get involved.
17. Join a club related to your major
Want to gain work experience? Join an organization related to your major to meet like-minded people and gain hands-on learning experience. For example, budding inventors might want to check out BU Spark! which offers several opportunities for students to get involved in entrepreneurship and data-driven projects.
18. Get a part-time job on campus
Earn money while meeting new people. On-campus jobs will have you working alongside other students and show future employers that you know how to manage your time. Check out job postings on Student Link in places like the dining halls, mailroom, or library.
19. Log into Bumble BFF
An offshoot of the popular dating app, Bumble BFF is a way to meet people online and form meaningful connections. The app is ideal for those moving to a new location or looking to expand their social circle.
20. Go to a hockey game
Show some school spirit and catch a men’s or women’s ice hockey game this fall. Join other Terriers in shouting chants to the opposing team, singing along with the Pep Band, and eating Raising Cane post-game. Come support the UB women’s team as they take on Université de Moncton on Friday, September 23 at Walter Brown Arena and cheer on the men’s team as they take on Bentley on Saturday, October 1 at Agganis Arena.
21. Visit religious centers on campus
Students of all faiths can find their community in BU’s many religious centers, including Hillel, the Catholic Center, and Marsh Chapel. These centers host events and celebrate holidays throughout the year, and are open to everyone.
22. Form a study group
Meet with your classmates on a weekly or monthly basis to review your homework, ask questions, and study for upcoming exams or quizzes. Bring pizza and snacks to fuel you throughout each study session or have dinner together after your meeting.
23. Join student government
Do you want to learn leadership skills and represent your peers? Join BU’s student government and get involved in one of its many branches and committees. Check its website for information, application forms and upcoming events.
24. Ice skating at Walter Brown Arena
Bring classmates or roommates and ice skate at Walter Brown Arena on weekends during the semester. Public skating dates and times can be found here. Admission is free for FitRec members and skate rental is $5 per person.
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