The Student Room Group

Nervous about starting uni again

I didn’t like my last course at my old uni, so I’m restarting somewhere else in September.

I’m nervous I won’t make close friends like I did last time. Although my old friendships have kinda fizzled out over a year of being away living back home. My old uni is 8 hours drive away so it’s been hard to stay in touch.

I think I’m nervous that friendships I could form at the new uni will fizzle out like last time too eg over summer holidays etc. the new uni I’m going to is 2 hours drive away from my hometown and lots of people from where I’m from go there.

I know what uni is actually like after my first experience so I’m not too full of suspense about uni lifestyle but more so about making sure I treat relationships I make there differently. I focused too much on clubbing last time and would like friends I can just chill/ have dinner with rather than getting wasted at weekends- so I can do my uni work and not get too behind bc of feeling hungover.

Does anyone have advice for someone trying uni again? Thanks :smile:
I think most people are nervous about making friends at university but its important to remember everyone is in the same boat! I recommend seeking out societies and clubs at your uni that are relevant to your interests! Best of luck! :smile:
Original post by Anonymous
I didn’t like my last course at my old uni, so I’m restarting somewhere else in September.
I’m nervous I won’t make close friends like I did last time. Although my old friendships have kinda fizzled out over a year of being away living back home. My old uni is 8 hours drive away so it’s been hard to stay in touch.
I think I’m nervous that friendships I could form at the new uni will fizzle out like last time too eg over summer holidays etc. the new uni I’m going to is 2 hours drive away from my hometown and lots of people from where I’m from go there.
I know what uni is actually like after my first experience so I’m not too full of suspense about uni lifestyle but more so about making sure I treat relationships I make there differently. I focused too much on clubbing last time and would like friends I can just chill/ have dinner with rather than getting wasted at weekends- so I can do my uni work and not get too behind bc of feeling hungover.
Does anyone have advice for someone trying uni again? Thanks :smile:

Anon,

It’s great that you made close friends at your last university : ) It is difficult to maintain friendships when people live far away, but making the effort to phone, message or to arrange a reunion during the holidays are a good way to keep friendships going. Good friendships are worth maintaining as it takes times to form them. A person can have many friends but normally only has a few good friends.

As you are going to be more local for university, I think it’s less likely that new friendships will fizzle out, as it sounds like a lot of the students will be close to home, so it should be easier to arrange to meet up. The summer holidays are long and people can have various plans, but making the effort to stay in contact can keep friendships going over the long uni break.

At your new university, there will be students who are not interested in getting drunk and going clubbing. If you seek out like-minded students, then you should be fine. It sounds like you know what you want this time round. You may just need to think about what events you do and don’t go to during Freshers’ Week and the societies you join if you want to avoid a heavy drinking culture. You may also have to be the one who initially invites people round for dinner, who suggests watching a movie and who asks if people want to hang out on the weekend rather than waiting for others to suggest it.

Try not to worry! A lot of the fear has already been taken out of your previous time at uni and you did make friends (!) so there’s no reason why you can’t this time : )

All the best,

Oluwatosin 3rd year student University of Huddersfield
Original post by Anonymous
I didn’t like my last course at my old uni, so I’m restarting somewhere else in September.
I’m nervous I won’t make close friends like I did last time. Although my old friendships have kinda fizzled out over a year of being away living back home. My old uni is 8 hours drive away so it’s been hard to stay in touch.
I think I’m nervous that friendships I could form at the new uni will fizzle out like last time too eg over summer holidays etc. the new uni I’m going to is 2 hours drive away from my hometown and lots of people from where I’m from go there.
I know what uni is actually like after my first experience so I’m not too full of suspense about uni lifestyle but more so about making sure I treat relationships I make there differently. I focused too much on clubbing last time and would like friends I can just chill/ have dinner with rather than getting wasted at weekends- so I can do my uni work and not get too behind bc of feeling hungover.
Does anyone have advice for someone trying uni again? Thanks :smile:

Hi there,

I totally relate to this challenge, especially when a lot of people in the first year are so focused on going out all the time. Firstly, I recommend reading my recent blog on how to meet new friends at university. There is also one on building community at university.

All the best,
Jaz
Original post by Anonymous
I didn’t like my last course at my old uni, so I’m restarting somewhere else in September.
I’m nervous I won’t make close friends like I did last time. Although my old friendships have kinda fizzled out over a year of being away living back home. My old uni is 8 hours drive away so it’s been hard to stay in touch.
I think I’m nervous that friendships I could form at the new uni will fizzle out like last time too eg over summer holidays etc. the new uni I’m going to is 2 hours drive away from my hometown and lots of people from where I’m from go there.
I know what uni is actually like after my first experience so I’m not too full of suspense about uni lifestyle but more so about making sure I treat relationships I make there differently. I focused too much on clubbing last time and would like friends I can just chill/ have dinner with rather than getting wasted at weekends- so I can do my uni work and not get too behind bc of feeling hungover.
Does anyone have advice for someone trying uni again? Thanks :smile:

Hey 👋

Distance can make it more difficult to stay in touch, and I know I experienced the same of friendships fizzling out once moved back from university. But being closer to your hometown and with lots of people from there going to will definitely ease these worries I think! I found as well that if it was difficult to physically meetup, we'd have group or individual calls, to catch up or do a quiz even just to have that social time together being apart.

Having some experiences already of university life will give you good prep for knowing what you do and don't want to do. Joining different societies to help find those new groups, try something different or if there's anything you thought about hobby wise to try, go for it. We were able to set up our own societies too which was great. Plus I found people were supportive of what you wanted to do - if I didn't want to go out or drink it was totally fine, I could chill instead! I'm sure you will find lots of new friends who will be on your level 🙂

I hope you enjoy your new university experience - it's an exciting time for sure! 😃

Jennie
Original post by Anonymous
I didn’t like my last course at my old uni, so I’m restarting somewhere else in September.
I’m nervous I won’t make close friends like I did last time. Although my old friendships have kinda fizzled out over a year of being away living back home. My old uni is 8 hours drive away so it’s been hard to stay in touch.
I think I’m nervous that friendships I could form at the new uni will fizzle out like last time too eg over summer holidays etc. the new uni I’m going to is 2 hours drive away from my hometown and lots of people from where I’m from go there.
I know what uni is actually like after my first experience so I’m not too full of suspense about uni lifestyle but more so about making sure I treat relationships I make there differently. I focused too much on clubbing last time and would like friends I can just chill/ have dinner with rather than getting wasted at weekends- so I can do my uni work and not get too behind bc of feeling hungover.
Does anyone have advice for someone trying uni again? Thanks :smile:

Hi there,

It can be scary starting again like this, but you made friends last time at uni so I am sure you will do again!

Don't feel bad about the friendships fizzling away a bit, when you are 8 hours away from them it will be hard to keep in touch as you can't really just go and visit them all the time! It's natural that this would happen, especially when you have only known the people for a year. However, with your new uni only being 2 hours away, this is a lot less likely to happen as you are close by so in holidays etc you could still see them, especially if they have come from your hometown! Even if you didn't see them, making sure you keep in touch throughout holidays is a great way of maintaining friendships at uni as it means you have been talking to them even though you may not have seen them in a while!


In terms of wanting friends that you can chill with rather than clubbing, I would suggest to try joining a society. You may have already done this, or decided that it isn't for you, but I think it is worth a try as this is a great way to meet people in a social setting that does not involve drinking! You can also find societies that put on socials that do not involve drinking so you still get to do this side without clubbing and drinking.

I also found that the friends I made on my course tended to want to do things after uni which were a lot more chilled like going out for food, going shopping or even just going to the library so I would make sure you are asking people on your course that you see in uni if they want to go out straight from uni and get some food or something like this! I found this a great way to make proper friendships as we were actually talking rather than just going out drinking.

You can also usually find people on social media who don't like going out drinking too. Look on Facebook as there are usually uni groups and there will be people in there who are saying a similar thing to you.

Also, just asking your housemates to do things that don't involve drinking is a good idea too. Ask them if they want to do a games night, or a movie night or even just cooking dinner together. Some of them at least will likely be up for it and might want to do it often, so definitely ask!

I hope some of this helps,

Lucy- SHU student ambassador.
Hello Anonymous #1,

I’m really pleased to hear that you made lots of friends at your first university—what fantastic news! It’s understandable to feel a bit down about living far away from them, but given your ability to connect with others, I’m confident you’ll have no trouble making new friends at your new university. You seem great at putting yourself out there.

Making friends is a common concern for many people starting university, including myself. The good thing is that everyone is in the same boat, trying to make new connections. University life is unique, offering a mix of people from all walks of life, so there’s definitely something for everyone.

At Exeter, there are over 300 sports clubs and student guild societies to choose from. Joining these is a fantastic way to meet people with similar interests, making it easier to strike up conversations. Come to university with an open mind, be yourself, and you’ll find friends who appreciate you for who you are. A useful tip I received was to keep your door open while unpacking in halls (if you’re staying in halls), so you can say hello to your housemates as they move in.
I hope this reassures you that you’re not alone and that there’s a solid framework (sports/guild societies) to help you make friends at university.

If there’s anything else I can help with, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Best wishes, Sophie University of Exeter Student Ambassador
Hi there!

Now that you know what you want out of your first year and the friends you make, I am sure you will find like minded people and there will be many people in the same boat. I think just going to the freshers and welcome week events will help to make new friends too.

Maintaining friendships at university can be hard as people go home for summer etc but if you keep in touch then it will feel like you weren’t apart by the time you see each other at uni again. I spent two summers at home during my time at uni and I am still friends with them now even after moving to the different towns, so there is nothing to worry about. You will make friends for life.

There are many societies and people who don’t want to go out every week, probably more than those who want to go out every week! I hope this has helped 😊

All the best,
Jakub - Fashion promotion and marketing student

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