First impressions are important. It is like putting a foot in the door.
They are like the vibe and the connection that you make with a stranger that you met for the first time. You would not want to treat the newly acquainted person as though you have known him or her for years - who are you anyway? You are a nobody, so treat it as though you are on a blind date.
It is better to play safe but not too safe. After all, you would not want to bore your new friend. Start normal, and perhaps share some of your unique experiences over the past few months.
Sounds like an awkward networking session? Because that's how it is. Building a relationship is like two people building a house. If either one invested too much in the relationship, eventually the other partner in the relationship would be fatigued and leave. Interact too little, and nothing will come out of it.
As such, it is important to ensure that both parties are committed in the partnership. No point forcing the other person to take part in your activity if he or she is not willing. It takes two hands to clap.
Good friends are like stars.
You don't always see them but you know they are there.
If you fail to connect with your peers, just try again. With just so many people on the planet, I am sure you will be able to find a group which welcomes you into their fold.
Good luck and keep connecting!