University is said to be some of the best years of a persons life. With opportunities to make great friends and to further one’s education, it’s easy to see why. Yet despite making many friends in my first year of University, I’ve noticed many people from my Uni complain on twitter about how hard it was for them to make friends. Making new friends can be difficult, especially if you’re going into University with no friends like I did. So I decided to write a post for those who may need it- for people who are like how I was last year, shy or unsure of themselves. This can also be used by people who wish to branch outside of the friends they already have.
I myself made amazing friends last year and I can’t wait to make more friends this year. I’m going back to Uni next week and I can’t wait for the year that is ahead of me. I discovered last year that by putting myself out there, and, taking all opportunities, I really allowed myself to meet new people. This post was written for anyone starting University this year looking for tips on how to make friends. However this guide can also be used by anyone returning to University- it’s never too late to make a new friend.
1. Student Union
One of the things that I would really recommend to do is to get involved with your University’s Student Union. There are so many ways to do this too! From becoming a class rep to volunteering at Union events to helping out at charity events. I made so many friends by just going to night outs hosted by the Student Union. I also went out on a couple of trips with some of the class reps. The student union is a great foundation base for making friends and expanding with those friends. My student union hosted S Club 7 last year which was one of the highlights of my year.
Societies in University is another way to make amazing new friends with similar interests to you. In my university, we have a wide range of societies from Filmsoc to Harry Potter Soc. The choices were endless and I joined so many. I would really recommend joining as many societies as possible and then sticking with a few that suits you best. Most societies host a couple of events a week which are great opportunities to meet people. They also tend to host a ball and a trip once a year. For example, the Harry Potter society on my campus held coffee morning, movie nights, and even a sorting ceremony. Their trip was to London.
Another thing I would really recommend is going away on any society trips if your university has them. The trips are often subsided and way cheaper than a trip usually would cost. A friend of mine went to Rome with the History Society and only paid for her flight and accommodation. All trips and events were paid for by the society. Trips are also a great opportunity to meet new people and bond with them quickly. There’s no better bonding experience than rooming with three people in Berlin. My personal favourite society was the Arts Society.
3. Join Sports Clubs:
I am probably one of the most un-athletic people ever to live. I lack both coordination and balance. However that didn’t stop me from joining a sports club in my university. I had a bouncing time at my university’s Trampolining club. I did this purely for the chance to jump around but friends of mine competed and even won prizes.
Every university has sports clubs. Most are the general sports clubs like hockey or football, but there also tend to be cool sports clubs which are very expensive to have as a hobby outside of university. For example, my university had Cave climbing, surfing, and of course trampolining as already mentioned. Just like the societies, these clubs also host events like coffee morning, balls and trips. There is definitely a sports club for everyone. Although it was a bit more expensive to sign up to a club, I felt that it was worth it. I got to go to Trampoline classes twice a week and I made lots of new friends.
4. Take all Opportunities
Here’s the thing, before starting university I was an extremely shy person. Half the things I did in university, I would never have dreamed of doing before. See I adopted a new mindset when entering my uni. I decided that I wasn’t going to hold myself back anymore. I was going to enjoy every moment of my college experience and so far, I have. I’ve amazed both myself and my parents at the opportunities I’ve allowed myself to take part in. So my biggest piece of advice for making friends in university, is push your limits. For example, I have a huge fear of heights so this year I am trying to battle it by joining the rock climbing sports club.
5. Go to Fresher’s Events:
Another great way which I made friends in my first year was by attending all of the events which my University hosted during Fresher’s week. From Speed Friending to Nightouts in clubs, there was plenty of opportunities to meet new people before classes actually began. My university brought in rides too. During Fresher’s week, societies often host events during this week to allow new students to taste what the societies can offer to students. A good one I went to last year was a karaoke event by the Musical Society. I would really recommend attending these events as they gives students the opportunity to become friends.
6. Host Pre-Drinks:
Don’t get me wrong, I love going to clubs. However, I much more enjoy the pre-drinking which comes before the club. It’s at Pre-Drinks (prinks) that you can have a good chat with your new Uni buddies and bond with them while singing along to your favourite songs. The nicest pictures are taken at pre-drinks along with the best memories. Like with the post club food time, pre-drinks are a perfect opportunity to make new friends- it’s intimate and much calmer than the club. At the club, the music is loud and perfect for dancing. However, in the club it’s possible to have a good chat.
Hosting pre-drinks is something I’d really recommend all Freshers try and do. If you live in dorms, invite your roommates and your neighbours. Invite the people you sat with in your seminars. Invite that person who seemed nice. Not only will hosting pre-drinks give you an opportunity to make new friends, it also will get you invited to other people’s nightouts. Often when I invite a friend to a pre-drinks, they will automatically invite me to their next event or night out. Hosting Pre-drinks allows people to consider you when they’re heading out themselves.
7. Use Social Media:
Now, some people may find this suggestion to be a bit odd, however, trust me on this one: it works. Basically my best friend from Uni I met through twitter. She had tweeted asking if anyone was doing the same course as her. I DM’d her and we hit it off. Two semesters, one holiday, and, many nights out later, we’re looking forward to sharing many lectures and seminars together (we coincidentally signed up for the same Tuesday 5pm seminar).
Social media- as many people on this website may know- is amazing for branching out and meeting new people. This can be applied to most forms of social media. You can use twitter hashtags – my uni uses hello UCD as their hashtag for incoming freshers. I would also really recommend joining any groups for your Uni which are set up with Freshers in mind. Most student Unions will set one up just for their new students to meet each-other. These facebook pages will have events and you can find people attending and befriend them. Another way which I would recommend is using Bumble. Bumble may be a dating site but it also has a friendship function. Many Uni’s now Bumble representatives as well.
Social media is great and can be a power tool when making new friends.
No matter what, making new friends at University level can be very scary so I’d recommend for anyone trying to make friends to always be themselves. People like someone who is genuine.
Got any more tips on how to make friends at University level? Comment below and let me know!!