You made friends when joining secondary school or college right? So, chances are you are going to be absolutely fine at making friends at University too. Even if you don’t consider yourself to have any friends at the moment as you never really clicked with anyone, then just think of going to Uni as the perfect place to be surrounded by a large variety of different kinds of people, some of which you will defo get along with. You may have heard people say that the people you become friends with at Uni will be your friends for life – this may be true for some of the friends you make, but just like anyone you become friends with in life, some are only there for a chapter and that’s completely okay. So here are 10 ways for how to make friends at University…
1. Join the FB groups
This is a great way to start getting to know people before you even head to Uni. Basically, the University usually set up various Facebook groups you can join for the different halls of residence. That way you can search for your housemates and also join the group chat where people introduce themselves & just starting chatting. So, if you are active in the group chats you might lay the foundations of some friendships before Uni starts. These chats are a great way to maybe see if anyone wants to meet up during the first few days as everyone will be in the same boat and will want to make friends, and also to arrange pre drinks at your flat for one of the freshers nights.
2. Get to Know Your Flat Mates
You might end up having the best flat mates ever who become your best friends for life or you might not. It is literally just pot luck. And it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get on that well with your flat mates, as there’s plenty of other ways to make friends at Uni (hence the whole point of this blog post aha). I know people who were lucky and who loved their flat mates and chose to live with them in second year but I also know some people who didn’t exactly click with their flat mates and didn’t have the best first year because of it. Not getting on with your flat mates can make things awkward at times and make you feel a little lonely as you are living with these people and you do inevitably spend quite a lot of time in your flat. So it is best to try your hardest to create some sort of bond with your flat mates, even if it is just a civil kind of thing just so that you don’t feel uncomfortable in your own flat. But like I said, don’t get disheartened if the people who are put in your flat aren’t people you can see yourself being good friends with as you have very different personalities or whatever, as you will have so many chances to make other friends.
3. Say Hi to Your Neighbours
Why stick to just making friends with the people in your flat??? Don’t be afraid to go say hi to the people in the neighbouring flats or even go up a few floors or whatever. In my first year I only had 2 other flat mates, which was a bit shit as everyone else had like 5/6. So on our first night during freshers we went up to the next floor and knocked on the doors and ended up preening with one of the flats. At the time it was a bit scary but I’m so glad we pushed ourselves to do it as it meant we got to make more friends and have even more fun. I ended up becoming close to one of the girls during first year from one of those flats & we and one of my flat mates would do so many movie nights, takeaway nights and nights out – so if we hadn’t have ventured up stairs to the other flats we might not have even met her. Also, I’m pretty sure anyone would be happy to meet even more new people during freshers week as everyone’s just as nervous and excited to be there.
4. Get Involved During Freshers Week
Try to take part in as much as possible during freshers (and even the first few weeks in general) as everyone is eager to make new friends during this period and as time goes on people often settle in their groups of friends and put less effort into making new ones. So it’s best to get in their during the early stage, Altho you will defo make new friends throughout the year too – I’m just saying it’s easier during freshers. But obvs if you are feeling run down and need some me time after a crazy few days you can also say no to things, so don’t feel pressure to say yes to everything.
This doesn’t have to be alcohol related. There are many events that happen on campus that don’t involve alcohol. The freshers events plan for Uni events will probably be published on their website or Facebook page, and there will probably events organised such as: board games, free pizza, sports games etc. And you could always put a little message into the FB group chats I mentioned in point 1 to see if anyone fancies doing something that doesn’t revolve around alcohol; you could see if anyone fancies getting a coffee, or organised a laser quest trip or cinema trip. You could even put a message saying something along the lines of ‘hey, I’m not really into alcohol so if anyone fancies doing something that doesn’t involve alcohol then like this message’ and then create a separate group chat where you can make a plan. Because honestly no one will judge you for that, and if they do they are pricks so who cares what they think anyways.
But, if you do enjoy alcohol then when on nights out, who knows, you might make a new bestie in the loos or smoking area – believe me it happens. During freshers everyone is just so excited and possibly consuming alcohol for the first time so everyone is super friendly and just wants to make as many friends as possible so just say hi and give people complements and viola. Easy as.
5. Don’t Sit By Yourself in the Lectures
One of your housemates may be doing the same course as you and thus have the same lectures as you, meaning you will have a lecture buddy already. But they might not. And if not, there’s no point sitting yourself in the corner at the back away from everyone else. I mean, if your course is super popular and the lecture theatres full, it might be hard to avoid sitting by someone anyways. But my point is, you’re going to be going to a lot of lectures so you may as well try and make a friend in them. Especially during the first week or so, there will be so many people in your shoes, sat in a lecture where they know no one. So, don’t be scared to go and sit next to someone and introduce yourself, you might actually make yourself and someone feel a little less lonely and nervous about being in such a strange new environment.
6. Chat to Those in Your Workshop/Seminar Groups
This is how I made one of my bestest friends at Uni. I was actually late to my first workshop for one of the modules (as I lived off campus and hadn’t quite figured out how long the bus took yet), and so the only spare seat was next to this girl, and I have never regretted being late so much in my life (just kiddinggg haha, so grateful). And then basically during the next few workshops we would chat loads and I mentioned wanting to join a society and asked if she wanted to come with. So we ended up trying integrated martial arts out for a little bit and then I started going round her flat for pree drinks & stuff, and just hanging out. And then fast forward a year I ended up living in a house with her and two of her housemates from first year and then are living together again this year. So, defo make the most of getting to know people in your workshops/seminars as they obviously have similar interests to you as they are on your course. You could start it off by asking to add each other on some form of social media to share study notes, or to ask if you are stuck with the readings or whatever.
7. Join a Society
There as soo many different societies, and you will be able to find a full list somewhere on your Uni’s website – there will be societies for different religions, sports, hobbies (e.g. baking or board games), themes (e.g. Harry Potter) and so many more; I know my Uni has a high on life society for people who want to do things that don’t involve alcohol. The only society I joined was Integrated Martial Arts, which was only briefly, but I do know that by joining a society you are bound to find people who have similar interests as you which is always a good basis for a friendship. Societies usually organize weekly socials as well, so by going to those events you will have a better chance of getting closer to the other society members.
8. Sign Up for the Buddy Scheme
Okay, so I’m not sure if all Universities have a programme like this? But, at my Uni they have a Buddy scheme which is where you can sign up to get paired with another student before you go to Uni, which gives you a chance to get to know someone beforehand making it a little less nerve-wracking. I didn’t do this, and think that’s because I never realized its actually another new student that you get paired up with, which is actually a really good idea in my opinion. Why not?
9. Get a Part Time Job
Truth is, you will most likely have quite a lot of free time whilst you are studying at University unless you are doing a course that has very high contact hours (like medicine, or teaching – as I know my friend has Uni literally for the whole of the school day). For instance, I only have about 10 hours of contact time a week – one hour one day, maybe 3 another day, a day off, then 2 hours… okay you get the point. So you might be able to get a part time job where you can meet even more people. They also hire people to work on campus, like in the cafes or shops, so you could meet other students this way.
10. Be Friendly & Make An Effort
You may not naturally be a very confident and outgoing person, but you know what they say: Fake it till ya make it! Try your best not to hide away in your bedroom all the time, although I’d definitely advise a bit of ‘me time’ every now & then! And if you are friendly, smiley and approachable then you will not have an issue making friends, so don’t stress:)
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