Social Life and friends

Photo By Parth Ghumare | Mercury Staff

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Plenty of folks roam around UTD, so socializing can sometimes seem daunting in this vast, uncharted territory. To help out, we’ve put together a list of the top ten ways to meet new people – and possibly your next best friend!

1. Freshman events

There are several events specifically designed for the incoming class that can be found on your Outlook account, the Comet Calendar and through flyers and banners around campus. Attending these events is a great opportunity to meet and chat up your freshman peers.

2. Go to peer-tutoring sessions

Not only can peer-tutoring sessions help you excel in your coursework, they also offer the chance to ask questions and engage in conversation with upperclassmen, potentially leading to the formation of new friendships. You can attend these sessions either in-person or virtually. On the peer-tutoring website,you will find what courses are offered for tutoring. To schedule an appointment, select the service you want, what course you need help with, what modality of appointment and choose a day and time.

3. Peer-Led Team Learning

Participating in Peer-Led Team Learning, or PLTL, can provide benefits beyond just academic success. It also presents a chance to collaborate with others in your classes, potentially forging new friendships as you help each other out. PLTL is offered for a variety of introductory math and chemistry classes. To register, go to the UTD Coursebook and find class you need help with. After that, click on your class and you should see a small menu bar that says “events.” Following that, you will see some sessions that you can register to help you both understand course material and also make connections with your peers.

4. Freshman Mentor Program

Having a freshman mentor is an excellent way to engage in one-on-one conversations with an upperclassman, whether you’re discussing successes or challenges you’re experiencing in the transition to college. Mentors also offer advice on building bonds, and they can connect you with fellow peers based on your interests. To apply as a mentee, go on the UTD website and search “How to get a mentor” to access the application.

5. Summer orientation

Freshman orientations consist of smaller – and less daunting – groups filled with peers in your major who are new and looking to socialize. Take advantage of this situation and actually chat with the people in your group! You’ll also have an opportunity to visit the freshman orientation fair in the Visitor Center where dozens of student organizations will be looking to recruit. You’re bound to find people who share similar interests as you!

6. Rushing for Greek Life

One of the main focuses of Greek life is fostering friendship and strong social lives. UTD has 26 active Greek chapters among four councils, including an LGBT-friendly diaternity, a South Asian sorority, the first Muslim-interest fraternity in America and several traditionally African American organizations. A full list of FSL chapters and councils, including details on rush culture, payment and events can be found on FSL’s webpage.

7. Student organizations

What better way to find folks you share things in common with than by joining a student organization of your choosing? First meetings typically start with ice breakers, simple events which can ease you through the awkwardness of meeting new people. We have a diversity of student organizations on campus in categories such as academic, political, cultural, religious, skill building, sports and more. Some of our unique organizations include a sword fighting club, our award-winning chess club, the intramural swim team and a K-pop dance club. You can find a full list of organizations through SharePoint, which you can access through your school email. And be sure to apply to our award-winning student newspaper, The Mercury!

8. Mutual friendships

Having friends or acquaintances from high school who attend the same university as you is great – keep in touch with them! You might yourself growing closer to folks who you only saw in passing, through the unique challenges and opportunities college provides. This includes grinding through homework assignments, attending study sessions together or grabbing a bite to eat at one of campus’s many dining locations. You also have an opportunity to meet new friends through the folks you already know.

9. Follow UTD social media accounts

Snapchat, Instagram, Discord, Reddit and the UTD app, available on Google Play and the App Store, are the best ways to meet other students virtually. We also recommend following the UTD Freshman Mentor Program @fmp_at_utd on Instagram. You can send in a post introducing yourself, and people will comment underneath it to connect!

10. Events in the evening

If your daily routine is to come to class and then immediately go home, you might run into some trouble building bonds! Stick around for events taking place in the evening. Check the Comet Calendar for specific events like dorm parties, which peers tend to advertise, or some late-night pool or table tennis in the Student Union.

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