Good Friends Help Us Live Longer and Happier Lives
Having positive social support is the number one thing we can do to support our mental health. Connect with a friend when school gives you stress and enjoy the benefits of companionship that can help improve your grades!
Studies have shown that students who have strong relationships with friends, family, peers, and partners tend to adjust better to the demands of university. This translates into students remaining in their programs and reaching their academic goals.
Did you know that social contact is strongly related to having a long life? Humans are social beings and our survival depends on each other! Friends and family offer support through the frustrations and challenges everyone faces. When you are well-connected, you become less stressed and more focused, which can make your academic goals more achievable.
What Are The Differences Between Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships?
You can remember the hallmarks of a healthy relationship with the acronym SHARE:
You can also remember the red flags of unhealthy relationships using the acronym JAICES:
- Emotional Abuse
Benefits of Friendships and Connections
Friends can provide great motivation for you to persevere at your goals. They are a source of encouragement and can help you get your grades to where you want them to be!
Friends help create a better university experience, improving your social life, and connecting you to other opportunities to get involved on campus.
Friends can be great study partners to help you learn and understand material better. Having a note-sharing buddy may also help decrease your stress in class.
Research shows that socially engaged people age more successfully, are more physically healthy, have stronger immune systems, and are genuinely happier.
How to Meet New People
Although it may feel uncomfortable, try to initiate interactions with new people on campus. People are more welcoming than you may think! You can start just by saying “hello.”
Conversation starters suggestions
- Always say hi each time to see familiar students in class, lab or hallway
- What is your major? What’s your dream career when you’re done?
- Are you taking any classes that you’d recommend? ...
- What's your story? ...
- What personal passion project are you working on right now? ...
- How are you finding University so far? How did you choose Usask?
- What was the highlight of your day today? ...
- What’s been the highlight of your week
Get involved on Campus
Out of the classroom campus experiences may not only help you make friends but can make your entire university experience more enjoyable and memorable. Make it a priority to commit to at least one event, or club that isn’t an academic requirement each term.
- Go to campus activities you are interested in or try something completely outside your comfort zone,
- During class, ask your seatmates about their programs and why they chose that course,
- If you live in residence, try to get to know your neighbours and the people on your floor,
- Follow university social media to keep up with your campus,
- Join a club or campus group, and
- Start a study group with your classmates.
Improve Your Social Skills
Socialization is a skill like any other and it takes practice to improve! Don’t give up if you feel unsuccessful. Strategies to reduce social anxiety and improve social interactions.
- Go to campus activities you are interested in or try something completely outside your comfort zone.
- Get to know your seatmates in class, starting by asking about their programs and why they chose that course.
- If you live in residence, try to get to know your neighbours and the people on your floor.
- Follow university social media to keep up with your campus.
- Join a club or campus group.
- Start a study group with your classmates.
Do not feel that your social life is a lost cause if you haven’t made friends after the first few weeks of school!
A word of caution. Most people are awesome but it’s ok to be wary.
Guidelines when meetings someone new (on-line or from class)
- Don’t feel pressured to meet with someone if you’re not comfortable.
- Meet in a public place. If you can, make sure someone knows where you are and can check in with you.
- Other than your name, don’t share personal information.
- Make sure you bring enough money to pay for yourself and a safe way home
Places to Get Involved on Campus
- Usask Community Centre
- Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre
- International Student and Study Abroad Centre and the Global Connections Lounge
- Multi-faith Chaplains
- USSU Women’s Centre
- USSU Pride Centre
- USSU Help Centre
- Graduate Student Association Commons
Student Clubs, Groups, and Organizations
- Aboriginal and Indigenous Graduate Student Council
- Biology Club
- Peer Health
- Debate Society
- Graduate Students’ Association
- Health Sciences Students’ Association
- Huskie Formula Racing FSAE
- Pre-Health Professional Club
- The Sheaf
- University of Saskatchewan Games Club
- University of Saskatchewan Space Design Team
- University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate Research Journal
- USask Improv
There are many opportunities to get connected by volunteering on campus. List of volunteer opportunities.
The university regularly hosts a wide variety of events, from concerts to academic talks to Huskies games and much more! Full list of events happening every month.