Jul 30, 2017
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Orientation and social events start soon and looking at the list pretty much all of them are bar meetups/hops and going out to eat. I've seen people say "go to every social event" but I'm fairly shy, dislike bar atmospheres and make friends easier doing similar things, in teams, roommates, etc.

Should I force myself to go to every social event? I'm not nearly the kind of person that stays in my room all the time, I'll still join clubs, intramurals, be active with events, etc but these kinds of social things make me wary.

There's also 150+ students in my class, excluding other people, the thought of all of us in a bar makes my head woozy
 

TheBiologist

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Orientation and social events start soon and looking at the list pretty much all of them are bar meetups/hops and going out to eat. I've seen people say "go to every social event" but I'm fairly shy, dislike bar atmospheres and make friends easier doing similar things, in teams, roommates, etc.

Should I force myself to go to every social event? I'm not nearly the kind of person that stays in my room all the time, I'll still join clubs, intramurals, be active with events, etc but these kinds of social things make me wary.

There's also 150+ students in my class, excluding other people, the thought of all of us in a bar makes my head woozy
no
 
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Crayola227

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I'm like you, I still say make yourself go

it gets your face out there and makes you more recognizable, this could make you seem more approachable later on

I made a few of my best friends in med school by attending, and I made a few outside it and further down the road

That's a shame. You can make friends and learn at the same time. Since you seem like a gunner or something or someone that just cares about how things relate to your career, below I also give practical reasons how friends in med school can help.

-Sometimes you'll have to work with others in small groups or other projects.
-Having friends can help if you have to miss lecture and could use notes, other tips about what you missed.
-Having friends can help you for your 3rd year to gather more info to help you succeed in clerkships or parts of the clerkship you haven't done yet, they can give you the scoop on working with different residents/attending. This sort of interpersonal angle is much of your grade.
-Sharing books or study materials can help save money or figure out what are the best resources.
-Some things are best studied with friends, like practicing the physical exam for OSCEs, or learning physiology which can take a lot of white board reasoning.
-Having friends can help so you don't overload your other relationships venting about what a unique experience you're going through. Your fiancee might be grateful you have some med school friends. They might be grateful to have the partners of your med school friends to talk about what a unique experience that is.
-Even with a fiancee medical school is quite the stressful experience.
-Having friends can help you make contacts with upperclassmen which can lead to getting tips, inheriting good research projects, or having leadership roles passed down to you.
-Having friends can help you get involved in extracurricular groups or leadership positions we all do as part of our CV filler for getting accepted for VSAS away rotations and ERAS.
-Also, getting to know other students also going into your same field can help you get a scoop on what different programs/interviews are like as you go on the trail.
-Having friends can help as there are certain awards/honors in med school that are voted on and can also help your CV.
-You never know where people end up after med school or residency. Sometimes people can be poised in interesting ways to make an impact in your career like with hiring, etc later on down the road.
-Also, when your class graduates and everyone gets scattered to the winds, sometimes it's nice to know other residents outside your program to talk to.
-Developing a reputation can help. There were upperclassmen that were residents at the program I matched to. We knew some of the same people. Some ended up being my senior, and they eval you. Did that have an impact? I dunno. Also, some of my classmates matched to my same program.
-If you end up having any issues in med school, like a patient or classmate or resident or attending is out to get you and you get hauled into the Dean's office for no good reason (so don't act like this can't happen to you) having friends that can vouch for your character can help.

I see you're starting MS1 soon. You probably don't know enough about the process to declare at this moment that you don't need friends. You won't need them, uh, until you do!

I'll answer this

-Go to class.
-Sit by people. Make small talk during breaks.
-Ask questions during lecture - makes you stand out in people's minds (hopefully in a good way. We developed opinions about people this way). People might come up and talk to you about this after class.
-After lectures, go up and try to talk to the professors or pretend you're going to if there's a crowd, you can make small talk.
-Go to class early and stay a bit late to mill about with people.
-It's OK to ask people what they thought about tests or assignments or "gosh I just didn't get that one question" (no cheating, no specifics). Don't ask how people thought they did or scores. Don't get butt hurt if people say they did great - you're not asking to compare, but to make small talk. Some people going on like that are very insecure, some could even make decent friends that want to study together.
-Bring a big bag or candy/easily shared snack, pass it around near you in class.
-Small groups be active and participate. It wasn't an official thing but people would make a point of bringing homemade/bought treats for small discussion group where this might be appropriate. We even designed a voluntary sign up sheet so Goldilocks never had too much or too little snack for small group.
-Get involved in interest groups, leadership positions, committees, elective courses.
-Ask people where they study. Hang out on campus. Hang out in the computer lab. That's where I got the closest with people - everyone needs a break from the stress that is studying, and a lot of the catharsis was discussing why we were busting ass in the first place and other life stresses (basically you can get emotionally intimate sometimes.)
-Ask people if they want to study together, "hey I'd just be glad to have someone to read with" (because people worry that you'll want to yap the whole time when you both need to spend 3 hours silently reading. But this can make friends for breaks together, or to do something fun after studying. Bonus if you bring snacks. Catching a theme? Med students are hungry by definition.)
-Tell people you're headed to the cafeteria/coffee shop.
-Get into stuff where you can ask people if they want to do X this weekend (movie, come over to watch a movie, go to a bar, go to a cool food hangout spot, indoor rock climbing, rollerskating, local music scene, salsa dancing, meetup event, whatever. This likely means a little internet sleuthing or finding your city's weekly paper to find stuff to do)
-Lots of med schools will have various social events. Go to them.
-Start a social committee if this doesn't exist. People will sign up. Plan events - post-exam bar gathering (contact local bars you'll be doing this, can reserve tables/get discounts on snacks/drinks. Med school prom. Med school trip to some cool place. Organize a hike or camp trip and email the class for sign ups.)

You probably caught some themes above. Small talk. It's a skill to work on. Food. Being available and "hanging around." Going to social events. Getting involved in campus stuff.

If making friends in med school is out, make friends outside it. Look up strats online. There are meetup groups. Even OKCupid can be used to make freinds (really, just list that. Talk to people not of your sexual orientation and make it clear you just want to make friends.) Make a certain college bar your regular spot, some are conducive to studying even.

Hope this helps.

More negativity.

Typically you make acquaintance with someone before they can become a friend. You know, like a stepwise progression. The things I suggested were ways to create acquaintances, have a friend group, which could lend itself to having more in depth conversations, which are how friends are made.

My list were things I did that put me into contact with med students (getting time with which is like getting time with a unicorn sometimes), that contact that leads to "hanging out," leads to opportunities, like studying along together in a room, and then breaks together over coffee leads to chances to discuss personal stuff, like "why medicine?" "Growing up my dad was sick with ____." "Oh yeah? My mom had X problems." "Right now is sorta hard cuz _____" whatever.

A lot of our curriculum included a lot of humanities/social determinants of health, etc, and this gave people chances to share personal stuff in small group (careful) and could lead to REAL friendships when you discovered personal stuff about each other. "hey, I heard you talk about ____. I've had similar experiences, just wanted to say thank you for sharing that. I'd love to grab coffee and get to know you more."

If you got involved in rape advocacy on campus, you might meet someone else who was involved with that. Maybe you both have that in common on a personal level. Maybe you get involved in a group for whatever ethinicity and you can bond over similiar experiences.

If you meet people with similiar specialty interest that can affect third year tracks for rotations, and if you have a wide cirlce of acquaintances those people you could be on the same track and have similar attendings, didactics, which lends itself to conversations about the experience you're sharing and its struggles.

I volunteered for a group project on a topic, and my classmate invited me to a local bar that was conducive to studying and we worked on it and had a beer. I learned that my classmate had interest in that topic because we both had family experiences that overlapped. We talked about our views on the topic. We hung out again. We kept hanging out, getting to know each other, talking, met some of each other's friends/acquaintances so we had even more in common to talk about. Watched movies together, made dinner together. This person is now who I call my best friend from med school and now it's been years. We talk on the phone weekly and have shared residency struggles, SO struggles, we're there for each other to talk. We've spent vacations visiting each other! (usually one of us was on a light duty with work). We even shared each other's Amion info so it was easier to coordinate having chats after work.

Another close friend I made was in the context of a mixer for the different years. They were a year behind, and this allowed me to be a mentor for them and we could bond over the shared experiences. When I got out of clinic I would come over and tell them what my day was like, get things off my chest, which was interesting to them as it was their near future. They could share with me their struggles being a year behind and I could relate to it. We would have dinner together and talk about our families. Got into some really deep stuff.

Another close friend was just someone who hung around the same library, we found a room to study in. Breaks ended up being the time that we got to know each other's life story and became best friends.

It's true some of the people I was closest with in med school, sometimes we would only get a chance for ourselves once a week. Some friends we'd have to get our damn day planners out and make an apointment! Some rotations you might not talk for a month! You need friends, and to be friends, with peole who understand, and can be the sort of friend you don't talk to for a week / month and still pick up where you left off. I had a friend we didn't talk for 3 months 4th year because both of us were away for like 6 months of the year!

Maybe you just have a hard time learning how to bond with people or open up or connect on a deeper level. Usually that will center around shared feelings, hardships or life experiences. Studies have shown that the act of sharing secrets or gossiping serves to help people form bonds and feel closer to one another. This is one reason why developing a friend or acquaintance group helps.

My suggestions were because people find themselves very busy and have a hard time figuring out how to break the ice and get those chances to form acquaintances, and then chances to bond more closely.

It's true the earlier you do some like this the better your chances of "finding your people,", developing a group, and that leading to deeper friednships.

It can be hard, especially with people from the area, with SOs. It is true most people don't have a lot of time, but it's also true med school is lonely, so dont' underestimate how many people are lonely and do want a friend. You just have to put in more effort and accept that you can have real friendships that might not be a daily thing.

I lived close to campus and it made it easier to invite people over, a lot of us did and we could walk after class to have a little time together. or dinnner or lunch.

That wasn't all directed at you personally (if it sounded a bit pissy, I was offering advice to someone else)

Given that as a physician you must learn skills in developing rapport and small talk, and basically shelving shy to some extent, I think it's good to start by stretching yourself to attend some of these events with future colleagues. A lot of people later on regret they didn't attend more functions and network more.

Plenty of people will say it was pointless, but it's hard to say if what's true for them will be true for you. Just go and know you're doing your best for your career.
 
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I went to the events. It was nice to meet people in a variety of settings. Considering that some people rarely come to class, it was the only time I met a few people until other social events.
 
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EleanorAbernathyMD

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Orientation and social events start soon and looking at the list pretty much all of them are bar meetups/hops and going out to eat. I've seen people say "go to every social event" but I'm fairly shy, dislike bar atmospheres and make friends easier doing similar things, in teams, roommates, etc.

Should I force myself to go to every social event? I'm not nearly the kind of person that stays in my room all the time, I'll still join clubs, intramurals, be active with events, etc but these kinds of social things make me wary.

There's also 150+ students in my class, excluding other people, the thought of all of us in a bar makes my head woozy
I totally understand your concern. Personally, I am an extrovert and still found orientation to be a taxing endeavor, but the FOMO is so real. Meeting 150 new people is never easy and definitely not possible within the time confines of orientation. You won't be alone in your hesitation to go, so if you choose to attend, you will find quieter likeminded people that are not in their preferred element. Bond over that haha.

I really don't like going to bars because it's impossible to talk without screaming, but I bit the bullet and showed my face. You can always go for a short amount of time. This helps because you'll have another opportunity to see a few of your classmates again in a more relaxed environment and then leave at your leisure. Don't set unrealistic expectations. As for the going out to eat, we were in smaller groups (can't take 150 people to one place) and it's a much better chance to get to know a few people.

Your program may be different, but we have several small groups in our curriculum in addition to student groups and social events. So I am sure, one way or another, you'll make friends. Just don't preemptively decide all the social things aren't for you (which doesn't sound like it will be a problem for you in the long run).

Probably the most important (so I hope you made it this far lol): orientation is a time for you to adjust to the school, your life in a new place, and be recharged/prepared for the insane course that is about to become your life. Take care of your needs first and, whatever you do, don't push yourself so that you're exhausted on day 1 of classes.

TL;DR try it out, show your face, leave early, but don't stress because friendships will grow naturally
 
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Honestly it depends if you moved out of state/city to attend school. I did not, and much prefer my old friends to my classmates, but had I not had my old friends around, I would have tried to be more sociable.
 

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I went to the events. It was nice to meet people in a variety of settings. Considering that some people rarely come to class, it was the only time I met a few people until other social events.

Isnt that the truth. If nothing else the social events during orientation showed me who the brightest lights were in the class, who were promising physician leaders, who had interpersonal skills yet self-restraint. There is nothing like a social event where alcohol is available to learn who the poised, classy and well put together people are.

use the social events to recognize the strongest and weakest links in your class. That information will be useful later
 

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Do people actually try to make friends?

If it happens, it happens. Otherwise, more time to study and less distractions. That's my philosophy.

PS, Bars are for people who need alcohol to have a good time. Pathetic.
 

Donald Juan

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Isnt that the truth. If nothing else the social events during orientation showed me who the brightest lights were in the class, who were promising physician leaders, who had interpersonal skills yet self-restraint. There is nothing like a social event where alcohol is available to learn who the poised, classy and well put together people are.

use the social events to recognize the strongest and weakest links in your class. That information will be useful later
Do people actually try to make friends?

If it happens, it happens. Otherwise, more time to study and less distractions. That's my philosophy.

PS, Bars are for people who need alcohol to have a good time. Pathetic.

Holy hell you guys sound like sociopaths.
 
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There are two sides to the coin.

I always believe that if you hang out in the places where u like hanging out u will meet people who enjoy the same.

And you wonder, hey if i go to the bar, and i dont even enjoy it, will it be fun? who knows. back then i alwasy hoped that if iwent clubbing whoever aint on teh dance floor, maybe we would have something to talk about.

then it comes down to cost benefit. what are u losing out from going on the pub crawl? is there something more entertainign going on? maybe something is on tv? so just priortize. whatever is most impt in life.

dont feel like u have to turn up. turn up if u tink it will be the better option than whatever else u can be doing. and just hang out a little, and if it doesnt feel right, u arenth aving fun, usually bar crawls u can just disappear.
 

Anicetus

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Orientation and social events start soon and looking at the list pretty much all of them are bar meetups/hops and going out to eat. I've seen people say "go to every social event" but I'm fairly shy, dislike bar atmospheres and make friends easier doing similar things, in teams, roommates, etc.

Should I force myself to go to every social event? I'm not nearly the kind of person that stays in my room all the time, I'll still join clubs, intramurals, be active with events, etc but these kinds of social things make me wary.

There's also 150+ students in my class, excluding other people, the thought of all of us in a bar makes my head woozy

Later. Cmon its human nature for everyone to put on a face in the first month of med school. You'll see many people bring out their true personalities.
 

Dr. Retractor

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Orientation is pretty much the only time when everyone is nice to everyone else and open to making friends with everyone they meet. That said, friend groups will form and you can just find your crowd afterwards. I went to all the events and met a lot of people but didn't really have actual friends until almost the end of first semester.
 
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Orientation and social events start soon and looking at the list pretty much all of them are bar meetups/hops and going out to eat. I've seen people say "go to every social event" but I'm fairly shy, dislike bar atmospheres and make friends easier doing similar things, in teams, roommates, etc.

Should I force myself to go to every social event? I'm not nearly the kind of person that stays in my room all the time, I'll still join clubs, intramurals, be active with events, etc but these kinds of social things make me wary.

There's also 150+ students in my class, excluding other people, the thought of all of us in a bar makes my head woozy
The best way to make friends is to be a good listener, remember people's names, and smile :)
 
Dec 28, 2010
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Orientation and social events start soon and looking at the list pretty much all of them are bar meetups/hops and going out to eat. I've seen people say "go to every social event" but I'm fairly shy, dislike bar atmospheres and make friends easier doing similar things, in teams, roommates, etc.

Should I force myself to go to every social event? I'm not nearly the kind of person that stays in my room all the time, I'll still join clubs, intramurals, be active with events, etc but these kinds of social things make me wary.

There's also 150+ students in my class, excluding other people, the thought of all of us in a bar makes my head woozy

It will benefit you to go to all of them or as many as possible when you have nothing better to do to make a presence and get your face/name out there which will make you more approach later as someone else put it, but stop going once classes kick in like 98% of your class. Orientation parties are very superficial because everyone's trying to paint the most cultured and aesthetic version of themselves so it's hard to get a good gauge on how people really are. If you're not sure how to act, just don't say much, laugh at people's jokes, and smile more. Wait until classes get hard if you want to see people's true colors.
 
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