Published: Feb. 6, 2019

Students play pool at The Connection on campusOne of the best ways to meet new people and find your place on campus is to get involved. While there are many ways to get involved on campus, it can sometimes be overwhelming and difficult to know where to begin.

Often, the key to getting involved includes taking a step outside of your comfort zone. Going outside of your comfort zone takes effort and can be initially uncomfortable. However, making this effort often leads to great experiences, new opportunities and new friends you might not have met otherwise.

No matter where you are in your academic journey, here are three ways to get involved and meet new people this semester.

Make the first move

When it comes to forming new friendships, putting yourself out there can be scary. It’s common for most people to feel nervous about initiating or organizing social plans, but you can use this to your advantage. One strategy to try this semester is to commit to making the first move.

Be the first to introduce yourself when meeting someone new, or be the one to set up plans to hang out. If you take on the responsibility of breaking the ice, it can help pave the way for new friendships. Organize a weekly study group with your classmates, invite a co-worker to meet up for coffee before work or ask your new roommate if they’d like to go see a movie. This might take some effort in getting out of your comfort zone, but can lead to new experiences and a wider social circle.

Looking to get involved?

These resources are great places to get started:

Explore what involvement looks like for you

Take some time to reflect on where you are, where you want to be, and what you’re hoping to gain from getting involved. Are you currently involved in something that is no longer serving you? Are you looking to explore more hobbies and interests? Are you looking for experiences to add to your résumé?

The answers to these questions can help you decide what “getting involved” looks like for you, and help you meet new people with similar goals. If you’d like to explore hobbies and interests, check out the hundreds of student organizations on BuffConnect. If you are looking for experience to add to your résumé, consider a part-time job on campus working with other students.

Getting involved looks different for everyone, and doesn’t always have to include a long-term commitment to a group or job. If you feel like you don’t have time right now to commit, there are still many ways to get involved through campus events. There are events on campus every day that allow you to connect with others, gain new experiences and sometimes enjoy free food! Browse the CU Events Calendar for hundreds of upcoming events on campus.

Try new things

Is there something you’ve been meaning to try but haven’t gotten around to it? Trying something new often requires a step outside of your comfort zone but is a great way to meet and bond with others over a shared experience. Plus, you may discover a new interest or hobby that you enjoy!

Test out some new recipes at Ralphie’s Cooking Basics, make crafts at Pinterest & Popcorn or get moving at free events through the Rec Center. You could also sign up for the Better Boulder Day of Service or gain leadership experience by joining the Journey Leader team. Trying new things can lead to many benefits, including new friendships.