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Orientation: Making Friends

Exams, homework, financials and extracurricular activities can all add up to a giant ball of stress, derailing your pleasant dreams of university life. The people you meet will not only help you stay on track, they’ll help you get off track to recover. It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this advice and you won’t have to.


There’s always an awkward silence whenever you sit beside someone in class for the first time. You both stare at the front, counting down the minutes before the prof starts talking. Break it earlier by introducing yourself. They’re likely in the same situation as you are, and you might meet someone you can partner up with for group projects. The worst thing that could happen is that they’re weird, but then you can just sit somewhere else next class.


So you tried to make friends in class but found out they’re all assholes. Luckily, there’s an easy way to find people with similar interests to you: clubs. No, not the shitty bar you broke your knee and lost your ID at last weekend. Student clubs. If you have an interest, whether it’s improv, science fiction or real estate, there’s likely a club for it. There are also clubs for different cultures if you want to reminisce about the old country. They’re also a great way to pick up a new hobby, like powerlifting or knitting.

Students’ Union

The Students’ Union provides more opportunities than just training to become Canada’s Next Scumbag Politician. They do surprisingly more than pat themselves on the back and suck up to the NDP. You can volunteer to distribute food to fellow students at the Campus Food Bank, or escort them safely home with Safewalk. The Students’ Union website, su.ualberta.ca can help you find other volunteer and work opportunities. You also can get involved in student politics without becoming a VP. You can join a council or volunteer at events. But if you end up as our next UAlberta president, you’ll be in a good position to run for office one day. Just don’t get salty when The Gateway tears your platform apart.

Get a Job

You might think you won’t have time to get a job while you’re in school, but if you manage your time well, it’s not that hard to work ten or more hours per week. You could even work more if you take fewer classes. It’s likely that you’ll have at least something in common with your coworkers, and even if you don’t, you’ll be one step closer to paying off student loans, or saving up for a house, car or 12 pack of delicious, thirst-quenching Bud Lite.

The Gateway

The Gateway isn’t just the official University of Alberta media organization. It’s also the largest student newspaper in Canada, with a long list of alumni including former Prime Minister Joe Clark, Supreme Court judge Beverley McLachlin, and Edmonton’s mayor, Don Iveson. Oh, and of course there are also journalists. You should know what The Gateway is because you’re reading it. Whether you can write, take photos, produce videos, draw comics or just want to learn how to do any of those, joining The Gateway is a good place to meet friends you’ll have for the rest of your life. Find out more by following this link.

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