Dear J: How do I meet new people/make new friends if I am an introvert and have a hard time just going up to people and talking to them?
Dear Introvert: There are lots of options and opportunities for you to make friends, and there is definitely a space for introverts here at Tufts. I think the thought of “just going up to people” randomly gives us all pause. Many of us prefer to meet our friends in more nuanced ways like in class or in a club — both of which are hard this semester. In your online classes, group or partner projects are a great excuse to reach out to anyone in the class you find interesting. Likewise, if you have a particularly enjoyable breakout room, feel free to ask for their contact info. Although most clubs aren’t in person, it is still worth it to check out the clubs that you’re interested in. Many of them are still hosting events that allow you to meet with other people, either socially distanced or through Zoom. There are also GroupMe and Discord groups for all sorts of interests. Being able to text someone first before setting up a meeting time and place can actually relieve a lot of anxiety by giving you a sense of what to expect. Good luck!
Dear J: How do I find my people?
Dear Lost: First, let me tell you how not to find your people. We’re all trying to find our footing in a new place, and as we navigate this transition to college, it’s easy to say yes to every plan that comes up, whether you see it in a group chat or by your cohort. While you should put yourself out there and try new things, don’t force yourself to attend events and meetups that don’t interest you for the sake of socializing. For example, if you know that you won’t enjoy watching a football game, you don’t have to go watch the football game. Try suggesting an activity you enjoy and like-minded people with similar interests will be much more likely to respond. If there isn’t already a club for your interest out of the 300-plus clubs at Tufts, there might still be a Discord group or GroupMe for what you’re interested in, which could just mean playing “Among Us” or going out for boba. If there isn’t or you don’t know if there is, just post a question in your class’ Facebook group and someone will be sure to respond or direct you to a pre-made group chat!