I hardly ever shy away from trying new things, as long as it's within reason. Therefore, I’ve grown to develop a variety of interests, which in return provides common ground and simple conversation starters with virtually anyone. Some of my many interests include anime, chess, music (in about eight different languages), TV shows (mostly sitcoms), puns, videogames and football.
Due to my large variety of interests, I can find common ground with virtually anyone, and I strongly believe that this is the reason I find it so easy to make new friends and expand my network. I have a group chat with a few friends with the sole purpose of visiting different cities in the Netherlands and trying boba (bubble tea). We’ve been expanding the group through the years and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting great people through something so simple. I’ve also got football related groups, friends I’ve made because of anime, and chess buddies. This showcases how little connection is necessary between two people to develop a bond.
While I hate being lonely (just as everyone else), I am not afraid of being alone. Which allows me to do so many things that people generally wouldn’t want to do alone. I’ve gone to some obscure artist’s concerts by myself because none of my friends were interested and met a handful of people with similar interests to mine. I’ve gone to the movies by myself. I’ve gone to museums and conventions by myself. I’ve even travelled to different countries by myself. Within each of these instances I had the pleasure of meeting new people who share some of my interests/hobbies.
My main rationale for writing this column was to showcase how simple it is to meet new people and develop a bond because I did notice that a lot of students are facing difficulties in this regard. Ideally, you should stay true to yourself and your interests. By doing so, you will be able to find your people, those whose beliefs and hobbies align with yours. Simultaneously, you shouldn’t be afraid to do something you really want to, even if you have to do it alone. I know a lot of people shy away from joining student associations because they don’t know anyone there, but that’s how you get to know people there, by joining.
You never know who you’ll end up meeting, so don’t delay your happiness waiting on others. Naturally, if you’re looking for a chess-buddy, someone to talk about anime with or someone to join you at O’Shea’s to watch football, you can always shoot me a text!