Guide to making friends on UT campus

Carolyn Parmer , Life & Arts General Reporter

After a year and a half of online school, many feel out of practice with making small talk, an essential skill for socializing. The Daily Texan compiled a list of tips on how to start conversations and make friends as more classes and events happen in person. 

Attend a Campus Events + Entertainment event

Watch a free movie at The Union on Thursday nights, jam out at a silent dance party or go to another one of E+E’s fun events. Dallas Wilburn, psychology senior and vice president of publicity for E+E, said the people she met through the organization helped her step out of her comfort zone. 

“The goal of our events is to be as inclusive as possible for everyone,” Wilburn said. “(For) the freshmen and the incoming sophomores who haven’t quite had that in-person experience, we’re hoping more than ever to get them to come to our events.”

Join an organization

Students can find fellow lovers of acapella, art, quidditch and everything in between on Hornslink, an online database for UT’s more than 1,100 student organizations.

For international students, Planet Longhorn offers multiple opportunities to explore Austin and meet people from the U.S. and around the world. 

“It’s really nice to meet people from all over the globe as well as Austin,” graduate student Nils Schlautmann said. “You … get an exposure to all cultures, which is really fun, and it’s really welcoming for everyone.” 

Talk to classmates 

Classmates can do a lot more than just help inside the classroom — they can be friends, too! Don’t shy away from starting a conversation with them. 

Asian studies senior Ashlyn Luna suggested starting conversations with new people whenever possible. 

“Even if you’re shy or a little nervous, you just have to take the step and go up to someone and start talking to them,” Luna said. “Find something to talk about first, like, if you like their shoes then be like, ‘Hey, like I like your shoes’ and ‘Oh wait, we’re in this class together.’”

Ask people to hang out

Making friends requires action, so reach out to people with similar interests. Last year, biochemistry sophomore Gracie Hornung sent a Vine of someone saying, “maybe we can hang out,” to some students she followed on Instagram. 

“​​I sent that to probably 20 people,” Hornung said. “(I) went on a lot of coffee dates and walks around campus, a lot of lunches and the rest is history. It’s not as weird as you think it is to text someone and reach out and ask to go get coffee or study together.”