Create new friendships

The Students Initiative Grant has in recent months, under the auspices of SiO, arranged several social activities for the students. This has led to new acquaintances and many good memories, that have further led to friendships - the key has been initiative.

Espen Silkoset and Thomas Reymert two of the students who have made new friends through the Students Initiative Grant in recent months. Through several social events, they have gotten to know other students and then taken initiative to meet again.

In recent years, Espen has lived in Oslo, but comes from Hamar. During the summer and autumn, he has participated in a number of events.

- I have, among other things, participated in Laser tag, Escape room, museum tours, paintball and Tusenfryd. In the beginning, I went to the events alone, because you will get to know others. Those who are there want to get to know other students, so you just have to jump into it, and then you get to know new people, Espen says.

Espen Silkoset has made several friends through SiO events.
Espen Silkoset has made several friends through SiO events.

The events are made so the participants can show up alone, but it is of course allowed to bring some friends. Several of the events have started with simple and fun "get to know each other " games, or the organizers have come up with topics to talk about, as an icebreaker.

The events are well adapted to get to know new fellow students. We are often divided into groups and the organizers come up with examples of questions that get the conversation started. In addition, you collaborate on several of the events by being on a team, such as when we were playing paintball or Laser tag. It is almost impossible to not get to know someone new, says Espen.

Alone in a new student city

Thomas, on the other hand, come from Bærum, but has spent most parts of his upbringing abroad. After several years abroad, he decided to return to his home country when he was starting to study - without knowing anyone in Oslo. Now he has started on his third year and has made several friends in Oslo, but still wants to expand his network.

- During the first years, I got to know those in my class and participated in various events that were set up by the student organization at my school. But this summer I got to know people through SiO events. In the past, it has not been so easy to get in touch with people from other schools, except that you may be at a party with someone from another study. But now I have participated in several SiO events, so then I have gotten to know people from other campuses, says Thomas.

Thomas Reymert wanted to expand his network.
Thomas Reymert wanted to expand his network.

Took initiative to meet

The purpose of the events that are held is to get the students out again, after a long period with lockdown, as well as create social meeting places and opportunities to make new acquaintances. Among other things, social media has been a major contributor to be able to keep in touch with the new people they have met.

The most important thing is to "add" each other on social media to stay in touch. We have created a What's App group, so if we want to hang out together, we just send a message there, Espen says.

He also points out that daring to take the initiative to meet is important for creating new friendships.

- I have done a lot of things with the new friends I have got. We have had a shopping day, there have been a few parties and we have meet outside for walks. There are many nice people that I have had the opportunity to get to know, says Espen.

It has not only been through the SiO events that they have got in touch with other students. Espen also says that he held a roof top party at his student house.

I organized a party on the roof top for those who live in our student house. I also arranged a volleyball day this summer, and then applied for funding through the Students Initiative Grant, says Espen.

How they made new friends

Many people may find it a little scary to attend an event alone, hoping to get to know someone new. Espen and Thomas have experienced going to an event alone, and therefore have some good tips you should know.

Espen's best tips:

  • Join all the events you can and just jump into it! It's a little scary in the beginning, but everyone is in the same situation, and want to get to know someone new.

  • Create a group chat! This makes it much easier to establish a social network and organize new events where you can meet.

  • Dare to take the initiative, because it gives you so many opportunities.

Thomas' best tips:

  • Look out for events that are happening - SiO is good at planning a lot.

  • There are many associations that also plan a lot of different activities, and there are many good opportunities.

  • I recommend turning right in class and saying "hello" to the person you are sitting next to, and getting to know those you are studying with.

  • If you live in student housing, there are good opportunities to be social with those you share kitchen with.

An opportunity to make new friendships

This autumn, the Students Initiative Grant has started up a new sub-project - "Semester with new friends", which is a social meeting place for students in Oslo. The project is based on groups of students who has the same interests, so they can get to know each other. It is up to the group itself how they want to meet and how often. Every month, there will be a larger event created by the project group. There you will have the opportunity to meet everyone who is part of Semester with new friends.

- Semester with new friends is a low threshold offer and a great way to get to know other students with the same interests as you. When you sign up, you write down your interests and we do the rest of the work for you. You will then be put in a group with someone who has the same interest. Common interests can be anything from sports, traveling, gaming, theater and music - there are no boundaries, says sub-project manager Ruwayda Mohamed.

Ruwayda Mohamed - sub-project manager for Semester with new friends
Ruwayda Mohamed - sub-project manager for Semester with new friends

She can happily announce that there is no registration deadline - you can sign up whenever you want. They have already made several plans for the coming weeks.

- We have a collaboration with the activity group, so if you are a part of Semester with new friends, you can participate on all their event. In addition, we have planned a ball in November, Halloween and Christmas packages where you get equipment to arrange a gathering with your group. We encourage groups to do things together, either on their own or by coming to larger events that SiO has planned, says Ruwayda.

No matter if you are a fresh student in a new city, or are in your final year, but still want to expand your circle of friends, there are always opportunities to make new friends. Start with a smile and a "hello", but most importantly - dare to take the initiative. It's never so hard to ask whether to have a coffee, go for a walk or study together, and in worst case you will just get a no. The vast majority of students are in the same situation and want to get to know their fellow students.

If you want to be part of Semester with new friends, sign up today!