Making friends at university is something difficult for many students and yet sometimes it comes so easily to others. The people you interact with on Fresher’s week may remain friends for life, or you may never speak to them again upon leaving the student’s union.
Whatever university experience you have, this article is aimed at looking at sure fire ways to make new friends, how to approach people, and essentially to improve your time at university tenfold.
The key is to present the best possible version of yourself and by being outgoing and expressive, without coming across desperate or needy.
Rather than perusing how to guides on ‘how to be outgoing’, I think the best method is to realise your own likes and dislikes, and the kinds of activities you might like to do.
Are you a mesmerising dancer who wants club nights? A film buff who would prefer a night at the cinema with a cult classic? Or perhaps you favour cocktail evenings and chatting with a group of friends?
Once you have established the kind of person you are, and feel comfortable in that, you can work on communicating that to others around you.
The best way is to join lots of clubs and societies, and then take your pick.
Most universities will have a vast range to choose from and events during Freshers’ week to attend.
It is important to go to as many events as possible as soon as you start university. The longer you leave it, the harder it will become to burst out of your shell, as well as very early on friendship groups will already be forming.
The key is to get in there is to smile and do what you are passionate about.
You don’t have to sell yourself, but be yourself.
Other methods are to attend all of your lectures and get chatting to other people.
Sit next to someone you haven’t spoken to before and simply ask them how they are finding university so far, or how they spent their Freshers’ week. There may be one or two failed attempts but the more you talk to people, the more you will find that you click with more people than you had imagined.
If you are in halls, this can be daunting, but it is an excellent opportunity to meet new people. So get chatting, even if it is making a quick cuppa at 3am in the halls kitchen and you start a conversation with someone else down there; you could end up being friends for life!
Another great way to make new friends at university is to invite your old friends up to visit! This way, you can feel supported in going out and being open and reminded of the self that you were before university.
As well as hearing stories from old friends and catching up, you can invite a few new people along on a night out, and then maintain these friendships after your old friends leave.
Once you have met some new people it is important to maintain the friendships that you enjoy, so keep an eye on events going on in your city and just send a quick text around.
Do this each time you see something you want to go to, the chances are, that other person is equally looking to meet someone new and hang out more. Skiddle is great for finding out events which are on in your chosen city, I found some Fresher’s events at Edinburgh University here.
There are many great methods to making friends, the important thing is to remember that everyone is in the same boat, even if it feels some people are better than others, this is not the case.
Simply smile and be open to chatting to people, no matter what – and soon you will find you have a hectic social life which just doesn’t fit around university work, and you even may have to start cutting down!
How to make friends during Fresher’s week I found on The Guardian website gives some examples of personal experiences of how to make friends at university.
By Emily James