10 Tips on Making Friends at University
You’ve just received your A Level results and you’re over the moon to be going to university! But you also have a lingering feeling of anxiety about the idea to moving to a new place and making new friends. Don’t worry, it’s totally normal to experience mixed emotions about starting your new life at university. That’s why we’ve gathered a list of ten handy tips to make mingling with new people, from Freshers’ Week and beyond, that much easier.
1. Find your university course’s Facebook page
Everyone and everything is on Facebook these days and, usually, your university is no exception. Before the semester starts, see if you can find your course or department’s Facebook page and drop a comment to see who else will be starting with you. This will not only ease your nerves, as you won’t be going in blind on the first day, but will help break the ice after some inevitable Facebook stalking – sorry, we mean ‘research’!
2. Join a club or society
Make good use of your time at Freshers’ Fairs, as it will be an excellent opportunity to see what clubs and societies your university have to offer. Are you an aspiring activist, sports enthusiast, drama geek, or film buff? Many universities have upwards of 100 clubs and societies, so you’re bound to find something that suits you. Finding other students with similar interest to you will give you an advantage in building long-term connections that last through university and beyond.
3. Go to your course’s induction day
This may be an obvious point, but since course inductions usually take place during Freshers’ Week, they often go ignored in favour of other freshers’ activities. But this is a really great opportunity to meet your coursemates in person before the semester properly starts. If you don’t feel confident enough in approaching a group of people, see who else is on their own and start up a conversation with them.
4. Be friendly and approachable
This might seem like another given, but make sure you smile and keep your body language open. Don’t hide away in the corner of the room – introduce yourself at every opportunity! Pay people compliments, offer someone a seat next to you in a lecture, lend a pen to a person that needs it… you get the idea.
5. Look for a buddy or mentoring scheme
Ask the Student Services if your university has a mentoring scheme of some kind, where other students are assigned to you as your university ‘parent’ or ‘buddy’. Making use of a scheme like this is a great opportunity to ask older students any burning questions you have about settling in and making friends – they’ve been through all this before, after all.
6. Make use of free periods
A lot of courses will have some gaps in the day between lectures and seminars. Ask your coursemates what they’re doing in those breaks, join in on their plans or ask them if they want to do something with you. Before you know it, you’ll build up a routine of meeting up between classes, and you’ll get to know people better in no time.
7. Make an effort with your flatmates
If you’re lucky enough to be staying in one of our 13 affordable hostels across London, you will be exposed to many people from all over the world with plenty of stories and interests to share. But even if you’ve opted for your university’s accommodation, you’ll still be meeting people from all over. Offer to make tea, cook meals together once in a while and hang out in communal areas.
8. Get to know your work colleagues
If you’re working part-time alongside your studies, you’re bound to meet other students doing the same. Jobs in bars, restaurants, cafes and shops are the most common amongst the student population, so you’ll be sure to meet others in a similar boat to you. Be genuine, get to know them during your shifts, and try to arrange a social activity outside of work.
9. Remember you’re all in this together
Of course you’ll be nervous starting university, but don’t forget your peers will all be nervous too. You’re all starting a pretty big chapter in your lives, so take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in feeling nervous or overwhelmed. No-one’s going to think you’re a loser if you admit to struggling to find people to connect with – reach out and talk to someone about it.
10. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
Don’t worry if you’re not best friends with people right away. Some people make great friends during Freshers’ Week, but for a lot of students, close friendships are cemented over the course of the year. Remember that you have three years to meet people and make friendships that will stand the test time. Don’t force things, but a little effort at the start will go a long way.
LHA London is here for your affordable student accommodation needs in central London, from first year and beyond. Our 13 properties have a mix of catered and self-catered facilities, single and shared rooms, and bills, insurance, Wi-Fi and gym access (where available) are all included in your rent price. All properties have study rooms to get on with your work and common rooms where you can meet new people. Many of our friendly staff also live on site, so you will always be safe and looked after if a problem arises. A true home from home!