Starting university is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times in any person’s life, but it can feel a little daunting, especially when it comes to making friends.
Making lasting friendships is one of the biggest worries for a lot of freshers. The campus can feel huge when you start and it can feel like you’ll never find ‘your kind of people’ at first.
It’s normal to be feeling nervous, and every student worries about settling in and finding a solid group of friends, and some will naturally find it easier than others.
Whether you count yourself as a social butterfly or find putting yourself out there a little tricky, our guide on how to make friends at uni should help you get university life off to a flying start!
We understand not everyone’s uni experience is the same. You might be an international student, love a big night out or prefer to skip drinking altogether, so we’ve got top tips to suit every type of student.
Before you arrive
Use social media
Once you know which university you’re heading off to, you can start to utilise social media to get a head start on forming friendships.
A great place to start is Facebook Groups for new students. You may have to do some digging to find them, but there are often groups set up for your course or university as a whole.
Don’t overdo it and join every group, but find a few relevant to you and interact where you see fit. This is a great way to get to know a few people online before you meet in real life, especially if you are a little nervous!
Pack the right things
Your packing list is probably as long as your arm, but alongside your essentials, there are a couple of things you can take to help you make a few friends when you arrive.
Remember a doorstop. Keeping your door open is a much friendlier sight and it should encourage new arrivals to pop their head in while you’re all unpacking.
Interactive games like Twister are an easy way to get people together, especially in the first few days of uni. Residents at Novel Student can also engage in head to head battles in our digital gaming rooms if virtual gaming is more your thing.
When you arrive
Hang out in communal spaces
We know the idea of getting cosy and watching your favourite show on Netflix is appealing, but sadly, it isn’t the best way to make new friends.
Try spending time in the communal spaces of your accommodation. It’s likely people will be coming and going and you can chat to anyone who stops by.
Make the first move
Speaking of chatting, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Making the first move can be daunting, but chances are the person you reach out to will appreciate the effort.
Speaking to a few people from your course is also beneficial, as you can discuss any work you need to complete for class and chat about the course as a way to break the ice.
Attend loads of events
Freshers week offers a great opportunity to attend socials or events. When wondering how to make friends at uni, chances are, the freshers events you attend are a great place to meet like minded people with similar interests to you, making striking up a conversation much easier.
It can be a bit daunting to attend an event alone, but parties and nights out are a fun place to get to know people.
Get involved with clubs and societies
Most top universities have a wide range of clubs and societies for students to get involved in. Whether your interest lies in sports, learning a language or just having fun, there’s often something for everyone.
Meeting people with shared interests is a great way to know how to make friends at uni, and this way you’ll meet people outside of your course and accommodation.
Also, if you’re trying a new or unusual activity, nothing brings people together more than learning something out of your comfort zone!
Quick tips on how to make friends at uni:
- Show interest and listen – pay close attention to what people have to say and engage with them, it will make a difference and people will want to keep talking to you.
- Try to remember names – it’s hard when meeting lots of new people at once, but remembering someone’s name goes a long way when making friends.
- Allow yourself alone time – while socialising is important, don’t feel guilty for having some ‘me’ time now and then. It’ll help you to recharge and be on your best form when socialising.
Keep yourself open
You may find a great group of people in your accommodation on day one, but that doesn’t mean you should shut yourself off from getting to know others.
Having a variety of friends from all aspects of your student life can only benefit your university experience. Many students don’t meet their best friends until later in the year, so keep your options open.
Don’t be afraid to reach out
When thinking about how to make friends at uni, be brave! Asking people to grab lunch, study together or even head on a night out with you is a sure-fire way to find successful relationships.
If nights out aren’t your thing, be proactive and organise a day trip. Ask your fellow residents to explore your new city with you, or research fun local activities. Your new roommates will likely appreciate you taking the lead, too.
Don’t overthink it
Don’t worry if you don’t meet your best friends on day one. Lasting friendships take time. Try not to compare yourself to others, and remember to have patience. It’s completely normal to feel lonely or homesick in the first few weeks, and you’re sure to settle in eventually.
At Novel Student Accommodation, spaces are designed to be inviting and calming, so you’re sure to feel right at home. You’ll also benefit from super social spaces to help you make friends with fellow residents.