When moving into an apartment — either as a transfer student or when you finally leave the dorms — it can seem a bit lonely if you suddenly don’t have a good excuse to go meet all your neighbors.
Some students crave this partial isolation — we at The Daily Clog sure do. The dorms are a bit of a social overload: You’re rarely alone in those “cozy” little rooms. But if you’re a new transfer student or a new apartment owner in general, it can be scary to move out of the traditional dorms and away from the casual meet-and-greet environment.
If you’re starting to think you moved into a social dead zone, here are some easy ways to meet new people.
1. Cook! Even if your neighbors are reticent and reclusive, it is unlikely that they will turn you away if you knock on their doors with freshly baked cookies in hand. College students are willing to attend all kinds of club meetings and events in order to eat free food; they will surely partake in small talk with you if you offer them baked goods. Nothing sparks a friendship faster than an offering of food.
2. Get involved! Whether you’re new or old to Cal, you can explore a new interest with one of the many campus organizations. If you’re new, you have a whole schedule of Welcome Week events — which just got started with Caltopia — catered to students who want to get oriented to UC Berkeley. Go to Calapalooza this Thursday and quiz the club organizations on their activities and objectives. Read through the DeCal course list and find a student-taught class related to your career or off-the-wall interests.
3. Explore Berkeley! There are some unique places and gorgeous views scattered around this city. Go beyond your apartment and the school campus to see the sights that may be brand new to you: the Big C, the Campanile or, if you want to live on the dangerous side, People’s Park. And maybe while you’re on your adventure, you’ll run into some people you never would have met before.
4. Open your door! Especially if you’re in a university-run apartment, your resident or apartment assistants will probably encourage you to keep your door open. If you’re comfortable with having your apartment open to your fellow residents, this can be a great way to make it known that you’re happy to have visitors.
5. Knock on doors! If you’re leaving your door open and your hallway remains as quiet as Main Stacks during finals week, you can take the initiative and introduce yourself to your neighbors. Knock during appropriate hours, of course; not many students want to make friends at 7 a.m. on a Tuesday.
Whether you try to make friends with your neighbors or venture out beyond your building, there are plenty of people to meet. Closing your door can be nice, but leaving it open will lead to a better Cal experience.
Contact Jessica Rogness at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @jessarogness.