Making new friends when starting University can seem pretty daunting and is often at the top of an applicant's worry list.
It's easy to think 'What if I don't get on with anyone?' or 'How do I actually find friends'? before even getting to university.
Those thoughts are really common and totally valid as the September start date looms closer, but we're here to help resolve any worries you may have as well as share some useful tips on how to make friends once you arrive on campus!
1. Get to know your neighbours
We highly recommend living in university accommodation. Living with strangers might seem a bit intimidating, but it's the best way to meet new people and get the full university experience. Each of your flatmates is in exactly the same position, so you’ll be able to help each other settle in, and you won’t have to work your way into existing social circles – you can be a part of creating them. Need some motivation to get that essay done? Can’t remember where that lecture hall is? Just fancy a night out?
Living with other students means you’re around others who understand your situation, which means you’ve got people around you who can support you, whether that’s with your uni work or down the stairs of a nightclub at 3am.
If you are living at home or in private accommodation then don't worry, there are plenty of other ways you can make friends, just keep scrolling.
2. Join a club or society
What better way to meet like-minded people than to join a club or society related to one of your hobbies or interests? You’re guaranteed to have at least one thing in common with everyone there! Or, expand your horizons by picking something you want to learn more about. Meeting regularly with your society/club members and bonding over something you care about is a great way to make friends.
Playing sport is also a brilliant way to keep fit, be social and make great connections.
Can’t find anything that suits your weird and wonderful ways? Start your own!
3. Get out of your comfort zone!
You don’t need to be a party animal or a socialite, squeezing in lectures between your hectic social schedule, but organising the odd day out, or even night in can be a great way to make friends. If you aren’t the organising type, try to say yes more often if someone invites you to something – even if it’s not normally your kind of thing.
It doesn’t have to be a grand event; get a coffee with your coursemates or make fajitas with your flatmates – spending time with people is the best way to get to know each other. Be spontaneous and open-minded, and remember that sometimes the smallest gestures can mean a lot and bring people together.
4. Be sociable – online and off
You don’t have to wait until you arrive at university to start making friends. Social media is a great way to break the ice and get a head start on building relationships. Often, you will find that there will be existing groups on Facebook for your specific halls, course and the University in general. Chatting online might give you that confidence boost you need when you do finally meet and you can exchange ideas on what to bring with you and your first social events.
Can’t find anyone on your course or in your flat? Try and be as helpful as you can to those who have questions, you might help someone who recognises you when you start uni, which can be a great conversation starter.
5. Make the most of Freshers' week
Freshers' week is the perfect opportunity to try out new things, meet new people and generally get to know what's going at the university. Everyone will be looking to make friends, have fun and grab lots of freebies.
Make sure you try and attend as many events as possible, like Freshers' fair, society events and the nightlife (if you enjoy that type of thing). Freshers' week is always a highlight of many students' experience, so make sure to get involved and embrace it.
6. Get to know your coursemates
Making friends with people on your course is very useful for sharing ideas and helping each other with any assignments. Lectures and seminars are a great way to get to know people. Challenge yourself to sit next to someone new and introduce yourself, see how they’re getting on with the course. You may have a lot more in common than you think and it’s always nice to be able to sit next to someone you know.