Moving to a new town for any reason can be overwhelming. Going off to school as a freshman can be particularly so when you think about a new school, a new town, and new people. Just know that you’re not alone in those feelings.
As you leave your family and head off to Rexburg to attend BYU-Idaho, you are joining 37,000 other students who will be on campus. That makes for a lot of potential new friends.
Whether you are someone who finds it easy to make new friends or are someone who struggles with putting yourself out there, we want to share several ways you can make new friends as a freshman at BYU-Idaho.
Get to Know Your Roommates
More than likely, you will have roommates as you move into your new home for the next year. Although you may have a roommate who you already know from home, there is a good chance you will not know all your roommates. The first place that you can start making new friends is by getting to know them.
Take the time to get to know each one. Talk about where you are from, your family, your interests, and anything else that comes to mind. Ask them questions and listen to their answers. Don’t feel like you have to get to know them in one night. Start with the basics and go from there.
You can also suggest that all your roommates sit down one night and go through a list of icebreaker questions. Here is a sample list of 50 “get to know you” questions for college roommates. But, don’t limit yourself to a list. Other questions might come up as you start to chat with each other. Let the conversations flow naturally. The list is just to help you get started.
Do Things Together
In addition to talking to each other, you can go do things together. After you get settled in, walk around campus as a group. Explore the area. Go grocery shopping. Have a game night. Cook dinner together.
These simple activities can help you get to know your roommates outside of a question and answer session.
Establish House Rules
We would also recommend that you and your roommates establish some ground rules for your apartment. How will things like cleaning, meals, quiet time, and more be handled for the group?
Allow everyone to have a say in what is important to them. This will help everyone to feel included. It will also help you to get to know your roommates even more as boundaries are established.
In addition to house rules, you and your roommates might want to schedule time regularly to check in with each other. This can be as simple as having dinner together once a week to see how everyone is doing. Or maybe having a monthly sit down to talk about what has been happening. This continues to build on the relationships that started when you first moved in.
The BYU-Idaho campus is another great place to meet new friends.
Activities and Events
BYU-Idaho regularly has activities that you can participate in. To see what events are coming up, you can visit BYU-Idaho’s events calendar. You can find events such as fitness classes, devotionals, workshops, dance classes, volunteering projects, and more. If you know what you’re looking for, you can filter your options at the top by type, location, or date. Or you can just browse the many options to find ones that appeal to you.
BYU-Idaho has a listing of home evening activities that you sign up to attend on campus. They list activities by group: social, recreational, service, and self-serve.
In the self-serve section, they have many suggestions for different activities that you can do with groups of people. These can be done within your apartment complex for home evening or by inviting a group of people to come over and have fun with you and your roommates. These ideas include simple indoor activities, indoor activities, outdoor activities, food activities, gospel/service activities, and holiday activities.
Involvement and Service
BYU-Idaho provides many opportunities to volunteer on campus. Examples include being a devotional usher, leading a service project, mentoring a fellow student, or being on the Student Representative Council.
Through I-Serve, you can also find a service opportunity that allows you to give back to the community or assist those in need. You can even propose a new service opportunity or apply to be a service leader.
In addition to getting involved in service, BYU-Idaho has many academic societies that you can join based on your interests. They have groups for dance, astronomy, art history, women in physics, international studies, public health, economics, and many more.
By participating in service activities or academic societies that interest you, you’ll be able to meet people with similar interests. It is also a great way to explore new topics or areas that may interest you.
Recreation and Wellness
Whether you are someone who has been playing a sport for years or you are interested in trying new things, BYU-Idaho offers a variety of recreational activities.
Check out the listing of sports activities, fitness classes, outdoor activities, and wellness center programs. Like other activities around campus, participating in a recreational activity that you enjoy or are interested in can help you to meet new people.
Another great way to get involved and meet new people is through church. Moving into a new apartment also means moving into a new ward. Take time to get to know those in your new ward.
Your ward will have ward activities including home evening groups. Participate in them as much as you can.
Here is another suggestion to do when you first move in. Grab your roommates and visit others in the ward. The great news is that many of the wards are divided by apartment complexes so ward members will be in your immediate area. With your roommates, walk around and knock on doors to introduce yourselves. This is a great way to meet your neighbors, make new friends, and fellowship with local ward members.
Meet Your Friends’ Friends
As you are meeting new people and making friends, those friends will have other friends. Find opportunities to meet your friends’ friends.
Throughout the year, you’ll be invited to birthday parties, dances, game nights, dinner parties, and other social events. Attend as many as you can and want.
As you go to social events, ask your friends to introduce you to their friends and be willing to do the same. This allows you to meet people with whom you already have a connection: your friend.
If you are someone who has a hard time meeting new people, find an outgoing friend to go with you to events and activities. They can help you navigate meeting new people and starting up conversations.
Student Housing Activities
We’ve already mentioned church activities as a way to meet new friends, and this will carry over into your student housing since your ward will be made up of your neighbors. However, there will be other student housing activities that you can participate in.
You can also take advantage of the amenities that your complex has to offer. Invite people over to participate in home evening activities, game night, or other planned activities that you and your roommates want to put on. You can plan activities with other apartments and have them invite others so you can get to know more people.
At Hillcrest Townhouses, we offer affordable student housing for BYU-Idaho students. Our townhouses are steps away from campus. If you choose to join us, we promise a friendly and inviting student atmosphere. Let us know if you have any questions or if you’re interested in taking a tour. We’d love to have you live here during your time at BYU-Idaho.