University is a lot more than the subject you study. It’s something that comes with so many exciting and positive experiences, things that should be remembered for a lifetime. One of the most significant and rewarding experiences it has to offer is the chance to make friends – all kinds of them. From casual acquaintances to lifelong bonds, University truly is a unique chance to build the relationships that will shape your early adulthood.
Even for the most outgoing of people, it can be difficult to make friends. It’s a new environment, and you’ll be introduced to all kinds of people you might never have come into contact with before. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to make friends at University, and how you can turn it into a fun and positive experience.
Get to know people in your accommodation
The day you move into your new home is one of the best days for meeting new people. Sure, it’s a little daunting, but everyone else is in the same position! You’ll soon be getting to know your brand new flatmates, and this initial bond can help solidify future friendships.
You can kick this off early on by helping people to move in – offer to carry boxes, or help sort out communal spaces. Once you’re settled, you’ll still be such close proximity to a whole host of people that even if you haven’t particularly connected with the people in your flat, you’ll easily be able to meet others.
If you’re in University halls, try keeping your door open from time to time. This is common practice and a kind of unwritten rule that lets people know you’re open to them coming to have a chat. And don’t worry, not everyone is just after all-night drinking – some people will be happy to simply stay in and watch a movie, so you keep yourself open! You’re all in the same boat, and most people will be seeking some kind of comfort or companionship, whatever the format.
Go to a freshers’ event
This is essentially what freshers’ week is made for – finding your feet and getting to know new people. Freshers’ week (or fortnight, in many unis) holds all kinds of events specifically designed for newcomers, including everything from bar crawls in the city to trips to IKEA for bagging all your flat essentials. Whatever you choose to get involved in, you’re sure to bump shoulders with someone.
Team up with people on your course
If you’re keen to meet like-minded people, a good place to start is by getting to know your course mates. You’ll have one thing in common, at least – your chosen subject! You can bond with people in lectures and seminars, and even suggest meeting up as part of a study group. This way you’re still focusing on your studies, but also actively building relationships as well.
Join a society
One of the best parts of uni is the chance to join a society – and when we say they’ve got it all covered, we mean it! There’s no hobby or interest that’s too niche, with societies dedicated to everything from Dungeons & Dragons to dodgeball to poetry. Universities will usually hold a society fair during freshers’ week, where you’ll have the chance to explore what’s on offer and sign up for the ones that take your fancy.
Make use of social media
In today’s world, social media can make it easier than ever to make friends – even before you’ve got to uni! Lots of places (and particularly halls of residence) will have their own social media group, which encourages people to say hi and connect with neighbours and coursemates before you move in. Be sure to comment on relevant posts, and use the platform to build a network that will take you through the academic year.
Take a chance
You can put yourself out there as much as possible, but the truth is that some of the best friendships happen by chance. So our best advice is to simply seize the moment and take that chance. Smile at someone while you’re in the queue for your lunch, or comment on someone’s outfit that you like. It’s worth remembering that so many people are in the same boat, and you never know what could come from something so simple.
University is a brilliant opportunity in life, with the potential to open so many avenues. Making friends isn’t always easy, but this is a great time to open up if you can and throw yourself into it. With a little confidence, spontaneity and just being yourself, you have the potential to invite many people into your circle. And who knows – the friends you make now could just be the friends you’ll have for life.
For more advice on starting University and how to get the best out of uni life, check out the rest of our blog.