Moving off to university can be the most exciting time for those flying the nest. However, it can also be pretty daunting – for the first time in your life, you’re leaving the family home, moving to a different part of the country (or globe) and waving goodbye to all those people who have become your best mates over the last 18 years.
One of the most crucial ways of getting over homesickness at uni is friends. For some, making new friends is super easy – a few drinks, a couple of games and before you know it you’ve bagged yourself some clubbing buddies for the term. For others, however, meeting new people can prove slightly scary and awkward.
#Freshers2016 how do you think you’ll make most of your friends at uni? 👫👬👭
— OpinionPanel (@OpinionPanelEd) September 20, 2016
But never fear! As a graduate who has made it to the other side of university, I’m here to tell you that there are so many different ways to make friends during your first year at university that do not all involve alcohol, loud music or raunchy games. Here are my top tips for those of you who need some inspiration on how to make friends at uni:
1. Flat mates
Develop bonds and common interests with the people you are living with. For most of you reading, you’re probably going to be living in a flat with around five or more people. Obviously, all being complete strangers, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll be interested in the same things, but striking up a conversation with your flatmates allows you to develop some sort of bond between you and hopefully find a common interest
2. Course mates
This may sound obvious, but there are so many people who avoid talking to people on their courses just because they don’t want to seem too keen, or simply out of fear of rejection. Let’s be real, people: you’ve all chosen that course because you have some sort of interest in that subject area, so you already have something in common! Plus, it’s very likely that (even though they may not show it) those around you are equally as nervous about approaching people as you are. So why not take the first step and say hi? You never know – it could be that start of a lifelong friendship!
3. Societies and/or Sports Clubs
Societies are one of the BEST ways to make friends at uni. You join because you are interested in that area or you want to give something new a go and, in doing so, you meet like-minded people who you can bond with over that common interest. There is even the opportunity to become an official member, partake in the numerous socials (especially the sports clubs) and even run for an official position! The potential within clubs is unlimited and there are so many weird and wonderful societies to join, it’s an opportunity that should not to be missed.
Only in my third year did I decide to become a volunteer and I definitely regret not joining sooner. I was able to take part in a variety of voluntary work, meet a whole host of new people and, in doing so, make friends for life. Volunteering is ultimately a win-win scenario – give back to the community whilst also meeting some great people along the way!
So there you have it, my four top tips on how to make friends at uni. However, do note these are not the only 4 ways – there are tonnes more out there! It all comes down to personal experience, something that only you are in charge of. Just remember to give everything a go and everyone a chance – you’ll be surprised at how many different characters you’ll get along with!