Posted by : VANITY Blog Thursday, 25 September 2014

Photo courtesy of: The Gouger

First of all, the author wants to establish that this guide will not promise a hundred percent success result and that she will not be held responsible for the consequences of your action. Anonymeh also wants to acknowledge that this guideline might not work for everyone although it has been proven and tested to be effective... for her. So good luck and may the odds be always in your favour.

Hello everyone! Lately, I’ve realised that one factor as to why us, teenage immigrants, are rather desolated when we first get here is that, we don’t have friends. (Nice one, Sherlock)

What I’m trying to say is, when youth immigrants migrate to a new place, most of them do not know anyone in that place besides their family. And that’s why I’m going to give you tips on how to make friends or at least how to approach people! YAY! (Not to be too self-serving, but these tips will be extra useful now that another school year has just started!)

 Making friends is not as easy as it seems. Maybe it is for others, but for us who literally just moved into a foreign place, it is a bit challenging. If you have just moved here, you may not know how to approach people (perhaps because of a culture difference that you need to be aware of), you may feel shy, or just feel inexplicably nervous. Nevertheless, I am going to list some tips that will, hopefully, help you break the ice!

1. Bring 10 kilos of gum

  • Effectivesness: 6/10
  • Cons: You got to spend to buy gums
I know all of you have heard the gum technique, sometimes they work, and sometimes you’ll end up offending the other person “What you saying man? I have a bad breath?” (but hey, you got to take risks!) On a serious note, I think this is a nice way to get to know people especially during class. When the class is boring, a gum is like suddenly the best thing you could have in your life. Alas, bring that gum and show how generous you are with your classmates.


2. Wear a cool shirt

  • Effectiveness: 7/10
  • Cons: It’s hard to find a cool shirt
Has a stranger ever told you, “hey, cool shirt!”? A schoolmate once told me that and little did he know, that was one of my first conversations during the first week of high school! I wore a “cool” Marvel Avengers glow in the dark shirt and someone complimented it and I did the same to them not knowing that he’s wearing a plain coloured shirt (ooopsie). Nevertheless, when someone tells you “nice shirt”, compliment them back and continue to talk them until they get fed from you! Works like a charm! Seriously, it all starts with just a few words.

3. Say ‘bless you’ to someone who sneezed

  • Effectiveness: 5/10
  • Cons: It’s awkward
People like people who are nice to them. Apparently, it’s a thing to say “bless you” to someone who sneezed and it shows that you care about them! In return, they might smile back and say thank you and perhaps even start a conversation upon noticing that you are new to the place!

4. Borrow a pencil

  • Effectiveness: 8/10
  • Cons: You’re not really making a good name for yourself if you show up on the first day of class with no pencil or pen
I heard that there’s a psychological trick that you can get someone to like you by borrowing a pencil from them. Maybe this is because it induces a feeling that they (the lenders) are doing something good for someone and now you (the borrower) somehow owe something to them. Nevertheless, borrowing a pencil can be a great friendship starter. You can give it back to them the next day and pretend you forgot to bring one again then voila! Conversation! And they most likely will remember you.

5. Wear a smile

  • Effectiveness: 10/10
  • Cons: Your cheek bones might get tired
What does, basically, anyone tell you when you go to an unknown place and are supposed to make friends? SMILE! Yes, you have to smile. It’s the international sign for “Hello, I am friendly”. Always wear a smile when you execute one of my advices from above. Or just do it all the time! It’s scientifically proven to be good for your health!


6. Just start the conversation

  • Effectiveness: 10/10
  • Cons: NO CONS!
Sometimes you just don’t realise that the other party might be the one who is shy. I myself am someone who doesn’t like to be the one to initiate a conversation. So you just have to have the guts and say hello. Ask them their names or classes – who knows, you might be in the same class!

So that’s it mate! I wish the odds to be always in your favour and keep that cheeks smiling. If everything else fails just contact me and I’ll be your dear friend.


- Anonymeh
 “This is Patrick”
        - Patrick Star, Spongebob

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Vancouver Immigrant Youth (VANITY) Blog is an online space made for youth, by youth. Here, you will find stories and experiences written by youth immigrants who once felt how challenging it was to be a newcomer in Vancouver. If you are a newcomer in Vancouver (or anywhere in Canada), we hope to give you all the resources you need to feel comfortable in this country. We hope to give you tips and advices on how we adjusted to our lives here as youth immigrants. Through this site, we want to empower you to bring out your full potential.





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