So you've just thrown yourself into a new environment and now you have to speak to strangers!
For many, this is a daunting task. There's no right or wrong way of going about this and the first couple of weeks are so intense with everyone trying to impress their new flat-mates/ course-mates. The main thing is to be patient.
Here are a few tips that could help you out.
1) Speak to someone new every day.
This sounds a lot worse than it is. It's likely that people want to speak to you but they're too shy to start the conversation, so go out of your way and introduce yourself. Conversations tend to flow naturally once everyone is over the initial awkwardness and you never know... The person you thought looked odd might love the same series as you!
2) Join a society/ sports club.
Societies come in all shapes and sizes. Some are for competitive sports teams while others have no real purpose other than to bring people together to socialise.
I was part of the Snowsports society and we had socials every Tuesday night. Every Sunday a small group would go to the local dry-ski slopes with some people practising back-flips and others learning how to stand up on skis/ a snowboard. And that was the beauty of it; no matter what level you are, everyone was keen to get involved and help each other out.
This seems to be common across all societies so get out there and try something new! You're not restricted to one society and if you miss the first social it doesn't matter you can still join!
Examples of weird and wacky societies around the UK include: the Disney society, Quidditch society and most impressively the Jailbreak society - They have 36 hours to get as far away from the university as possible without spending any money. Students have got as far as Morocco before...
If there isn't already a society that you think sounds great, don't hang about... Start it!
3) Go to taster sessions/ events.
If you really don't like the sound of approaching people and starting conversations the best thing you can do is go to a taster session in which you do an activity. Everyone will be focused on the task so there is no pressure to talk to anyone, however, it's likely that conversations will slowly start as you become relaxed.
4) Don't feel pressured to go to everything/ anything.
If you aren't the kind of person that enjoys nights out or you just don't fancy going out every night you don't have to. People will respect that, even if they are hassling you to come out, and this doesn't mean you won't make friends and be lonely for the rest of the year as some people might think. Try not to sit in your bedroom by yourself all day, attempt to socialise, simply by sitting in the communal areas in your flat or halls.
5) 'Be yourself'
As cliché as it may be, it's true. If you be yourself and be patient you will come across like-minded people who you click with. Friendships aren't instant, they take time to build so it's unlikely that you'll find a new best-friend in freshers week. Keep trying new things and going to places/ activities that you enjoy and with time, you will build a good variety of friends.
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