I'm a new student in Orlando - What are the best ways to meet other students and make friends?

Many people ask when they first move to Orlando how they can meet other UCF students. UCF is one of the only major universities in the state that also sits in a large city. That means Orlando is by no means a college town. Since you’re looking at living in a real city (that’s what I call a non-college town!) then you should know the best places to meet other students and make college friends. Near UCF sits about a dozen apartments scattered around the area. What all of these apartments have in common is that UCF students are not exclusively living here.

With a lot of Full Sail students, Valencia College students and others, you’ll find East Orlando is very diverse. While you may find plenty of Knights banners around East Orlando, you may not be looking in the right areas for UCF hangouts.

The former Alafaya Plaza used to be the place to be for people to meet up off-campus. With this plaza bulldozed and bars/restaurants like Knight Library and Lazy Moon re-locating, you’ll find plenty of UCF hangouts near the World of Beer shopping center and Buffalo Wild Wing’s area across the street. You’ll also find a great (almost) UCF Knight-exclusive hangout off McCulloch Rd and Alafaya Trl. Students tailgate at many of these bars before game day so you won’t miss out on a good time with other UCF students.

If drinking isn’t your thing, go to the Student Union on campus. Featuring one of the most beautiful student unions of any college I’ve been to, you’ll have a great time here on event nights and just on regular days. Numerous clubs meet here and even a few restaurants and bars are here.

Right nearby is the Towers next to UCF’s Brighthouse Stadium. You’ll find a Barnes and Noble among several restaurants where UCF students congregate.

So you have a lot of bars, a lot of restaurants, a lot of nice buildings at UCF – There’s also a ton of clubs available to you as a UCF student. Take advantage and check out the UCF clubs registry for what interests you and participate. As a UCF student, you also have the ability to become a fraternity or sorority member. If you don’t consider yourself “frat-tastic” enough then look into a co-ed professional fraternity where you’ll meet a lot of like-minded students as well.

UCF is an incredibly fast growing campus full of life. It’s an exciting time to be a student and you want to make as many friends and experience as many things as you can in the area.

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