How to Make Friends at University?
When someone is giving you advice on how to make friends at your university or college, the most frequent advice is “Don’t panic – just be yourself”. Let’s be honest – it is easier to say than actually do it. Starting your new study year is stressful enough and on top of that, you are surrounded by a bunch of strangers. However, think about the positives – friends made at the university can turn into lifelong friends.
To make it easier, we’ve prepared some foolproof tips that will help you make friends at uni.
Introduce yourself to your flatmates
This is your first chance to break the ice. Start with your flatmates and get to know them better because you will be sharing the space for the whole year. Have a chat or a tea together, play a board game and get the conversation going.
But what if your roommates are completely different from your friends back home? What if they are not friendly at all and are not showing interest in making friends with you? Don’t panic. It’s normal to be shy on your first day of moving and it may be that your roommates are just as nervous as you are!
Also, don’t forget that in life you will have to be able to work or live with people you don’t get along with. If after a few weeks you see that this is not going to work – consider moving out. You can easily find another room at Best Student Halls, just type in your city or university you’re studying at and select a room that suits your budget.
Questions that work
There’s nothing more stressful than starting a conversation with a person you don’t know. What’s even worse – you start a one-sided conversation which leads nowhere.
We recommend planning your questions in advance – yep, you heard it right. There are tested and proven questions that will get the conversation and going without sounding too unnatural. Here’s a possible scenario:
If you see a confused fresher wandering around the hall and looking for a lecture theater, don’t be afraid to approach them and ask:
“Which course are you doing? Business Management? Me too! When do you have your first lecture?…” – and the conversation starts flowing.
There are many situations where you can start conversations – you just have to use the opportunity. Questions like “Do you need a pen?” “Can you help me with this task?” “Have you already been to (enter course title) introductory lesson?” “What country are you from?” are always good starter questions.
If you are looking for some inspiration on how to approach people, take a look at “Interview You: Who Do You Think You Are?“ and take a note of some of the questions – we promise, you’ll find some surprising, ridiculous and thought-provoking questions.
Get involved in what interests you
This is pretty obvious – find clubs, societies or student groups that would share the same interests as you. Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not – if you love classical music, join the group of classical music fans; if you are a true bookworm, look for a Student Book Club. This is why university is great – it surrounds you with people that have similar taste, share the same passion and hobbies. You are given opportunities to express yourself and discover something new.
Universities have a variety of clubs for any interests so there’s a big chance you find something that suits you. Make sure to join the clubs at the beginning of the year because most of them have ice-breaker sessions for newbies.
Thanks to social media, you can chat with your course friends before studies begin. There are Facebook groups dedicated to each university – from Fresher’s Week group to residence halls. Log in, comment and join other freshers to get more details about your course, exchange information and discuss the upcoming events. Facebook is an amazing starting point to make friends and see who’s in your course. You may even find out that someone from your school is going to the same university. Although online chats don’t come close to having a real conversation, it’s nice to see a familiar face on your first day at uni.
We hope you got some inspiration and find these tips helpful to start your first year. Remember, creating a friendship takes time and effort, and it is OK to be a little nervous at first. The biggest challenge is putting yourself out there – but once you make the first step, it gets much easier. Do you have any tips that you personally tried and it worked? Do you think it is difficult to make friends at university? Comment and share your thoughts – we want to hear them all!