Moving to university can bring with it a fair few challenges, one of them being finding friends. Firstly, where can you actually find friends? It sounds so easy, but it’s not quite as easy as meeting your best friend in English class anymore. That said, there are a few ways you can give yourself a better chance at meeting people, and a few things to keep in mind when navigating friendships.
1. Use cooking and mealtimes and social times.
So, you’ve just moved to university, and for the first time you find yourself battling the oven, the frying pan, and your range of newly acquired B&M spatulas in favour of creating a dinner that has some kind of nutritional value. This newfound battle, however, can actually lead to getting to know the other people that live in your accommodation. If you’re confident in your culinary abilities, you could cook for your flatmates, or if you’re slightly less so, find a quick, easy recipe online. You’ll get to enjoy dinner, and you’ll be closer with your flatmate as a result of battling the hob together. If you’re a student who is catered for, you can use mealtimes as a social occasion, to have a catch up over dinner.
2. Joining clubs and societies.
It’s an obvious one, but if you enjoyed netball back in school, join the team, or if you’re more into music, find out what orchestra and bands are affiliated with your university. Particularly when it comes to sports, you’ll likely find that there are various levels you can play at, which will require all different levels of commitment. University is also a great time to try out something new, if you’ve always fancied getting into football, it’s a great time to get involved.
3. Attending classes and lectures.
Dragging yourself up for your 9am lecture might have more benefits to it than you think. Sitting next to someone in the lecture hall or your classes is a great way to make friends within your course, and they’ll be the people who you can study with and share resources come exam time. You’ll likely find that the people around you are keen to make friends too and will truly appreciate you being the one to ask them for a café study break.
4. Invest in a doorstop.
It might sound a little odd but keeping your door open will help you to socialise with those who you live with, and people are more likely to pop by and say hey.
5. Be yourself
More than anything, be yourself. Whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert, into clubbing or watching bake off with your friends with a cup of tea, stay true to yourself, and you’ll find yourself around like-minded people. That’s not to say it’s not worth trying things outside of your comfort zone, but staying true to yourself is important. Remember, you’re wonderful!
Armed with those tips then, be brave enough to ask that person in your lecture if they’d like to get lunch after class, or the person on your staircase what they’re doing for dinner. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself meeting new people, and forming friendships, even if it takes a little bit longer at first. If you are struggling to make friends though, don’t be afraid to reach out to your university support staff: you definitely aren’t alone.