Topic We Cover: How to Make New Friends in University
1. Join Facebook groups
2. Keep your door open
3. Help flatmates move in
4. Go to freshers' events
5. Hang out in the common room
6. Go to your course induction
7. Organize a study group
8. Sit next to people in lectures
9. Invite people out for lunch
10. Join university societies
11. Introduce yourself to people at university
12. Go for a society committee position
13. Stay on campus to study
14. Extra tips for making friends during fresher’s week
- Method 1 - Take Initiative
- Method 2 - Getting Out of Your comfortable zone /Dorn Room
- Method 3 - Joining Activities and Groups
- Method 4 - Attracting the Right People
Arriving at university can be simultaneously the most nerve-wracking and exciting experience, a moment where you leave your comfort zone and begin to try new things and meet lots of new people. Making friends is one of the biggest worries for a lot of freshers, but it's so much easier than you might think. Here are a whole bunch of ideas you can try.
At university, the fact is that every new student worries about making friends. And while it's true that everyone is in the same boat, we also understand that not every boat is exactly the same.
So whether you're living at home or moving away, or a big fan of nights out or not interested in drinking at all, we've got tips on how to make friends suit every student.
There are numerous tried and tested methods that you can be put in to practice right away and are guaranteed to help you settle into university life with your new pals.
If you’re struggling to adapt to university life, escape your comfort zone and meet new people, Freshers’ week is a perfect opportunity to make friendships that will last a lifetime and test your boundaries, but knowing where to start can be tricky. Here are some ways you can start.
Join Facebook groups
For new students, the best way to make friends is to check out some Facebook groups before arriving at university. It might take a bit of detective work, but there are bound to be grouped for your course, halls or university in general – all of which are a great way of introducing yourself to people before you even get to university.
But don't become too much of a Facebook stalker, comment only on relevant posts, message people or add them as friends if you find them appropriate. At the very least, there'll be some familiar faces at university when you arrive. For tips and advice from current and former students, don't forget to join the Student Facebook group. You'll be able to find out everything from the best student bank accounts to the best restaurant deals.
Keep your door open
It is very essential to Keeping your door open for meeting and Making Friends with your new flatmates.
It's necessary to do this to make friends in university halls. People will be way more likely to pop their head in and say hi if you do – a closed-door suggests that you don't want to talk to anyone, or that you haven't even moved in yet!
It's also a good idea to take some games like Twister, or at the very least, a pack of cards for drinking games, as these are great ways of getting everyone together at the start.
Help flatmates move in
It's very essential to make friends during freshers' week, to make an effort with your flatmates straightaway. When you first meet them, it might feel a bit difficult to know where to begin – but offering to help them move their stuff alleviates some of that awkward small talk.
Having something practical to do will help you both feel more relaxed, and in the process of moving their stuff, you could spot a common interest you both have.
Go to freshers' events
There'll be LOADS going on during freshers' week – try and throw yourself in as much as possible. Don't worry if freshers' nights out aren't your scene – university often organizes day trips, guided tours of the city or even trips if you're in need of some flat essentials.
Hang out in the common room
Try hanging out in the kitchen, living room or common area instead – it's likely people will constantly be coming and going, so you can chat to anyone who pops in. And, this way, you might find someone to become your Netflix binge buddy.
Go to your course induction
When you get caught up in the hype of freshers' week, it can be easy to forget that you even have a course to study. But if you get invited to an induction session of your course (even if it's at 9 am), we'd definitely recommend you go.
Your flatmates might be all you care about right now – but your course is going to become a big part of your life over the next three years, so it's important to have friends in this area too.
Organize a study group
Long hours in the library can get lonely, so why not rally some of your course mates together to make a study group?
Ask around in lectures or after seminars to see who would like to join in, then set the time and place. Not only is it sociable, but you're bound to get some tips for your essays and referencing too.
Sit next to people in lectures
If you would like to make friends on your course, try sitting down next to someone and introducing yourself. You never know, you might hit it off, and if you don't, you only have to maintain the conversation for 5-10 minutes until the lecture begins. Easy!
Invite people out for lunch
After Freshers' Week, the best way to keep making new friends is to suggest lunch trips with people in your class. If at the end of lectures and seminars, you find that everyone is just scuttling back off to their own lives, go out on a limb and ask someone if they want to grab a bite to eat with you.
People will really appreciate you reaching out, and no doubt they'll prefer it to eat by themselves.
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Join university societies
Most universities have literally hundreds of societies, so you're bound to find one or two which suit your interests and tastes.
Once you've signed up at the freshers' fair, make sure you go along to meetings and events regularly. It can seem like a chore at first when you don't really know anyone but stick at it and you'll soon meet people who'll make you want to keep going back. Plus, getting stuck in with extracurricular activities looks great on your CV!
Introduce yourself to people at university
Particularly, while living at home if you're hoping to Make friends at university, you'll have to make the effort to introduce yourself to people when opportunities arise. It can seem daunting, but remember that everyone is in the same boat and will be just as keen to make friends as you are.
Go for a society committee position
Societies are important for all students at university, but for those living at home, they can be a lifeline. Show some dedication and go for a committee position at the end of the first year. Having a responsibility level within the society will not only impress future employers, but it'll expose you to loads of new people – and potential new friends!
Stay on campus to study
Instead of going home to study, why not try working in one of the common areas at university? The library might not be the perfect place to make friends, but if you can find an area where you're allowed to talk, this would be perfect.
That way, you'll be able to introduce yourself to people as they come and go, and you could even set up a study group with other students. It will be more fun than studying on your own, anyway.
Extra tips for making friends during fresher’s week
What to do when making friends at university
- Compliment people – It feels weird at first, but this is the perfect way to initiate a conversation with someone new
- Get out of comfort zone – Well, not quite everything, but university is all about trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone
- Use your existing connections – If you already know people in the same city or at the same university, you can also ask them to introduce you to their friends
- Show an interest and listen – Genuinely listen to what people have to say and respond like you care (even if you don't). People will notice and want to keep talking to you
- Make multiple friendship groups – Your flat mates aren't the be all and end all; it's best to have multiple groups of friends in different areas of university life
- Remember names – We know it's hard when you're meeting so many new people at once. Try repeating it back to them when they introduce themselves
- Allow yourself some alone time – While it's important to make an effort and socialise as much as you can, don't feel guilty if you want to spend some time by yourself now and then to recharge. It'll help you be your best self around others.
What NOT to do when making friends at university
- Be messy – Don't give your flatmates a reason to hate you
- Judge people – You're probably going to meet people from a wide range of backgrounds, but don't judge people just because they're different to you
- Too much pressure on friendships – Strong friendships can take time. To be friends with someone on day one doesn't mean they have to become your BFF for life.
- Become someone you're not – You don't need to change who you are to impress people. They'll appreciate you more for being your authentic self.
Method 1 - Take Initiative
- Get early to the class and strike up a conversation. If you get into the class 10 min. early can give you time to settle in and a chance to chat with your fellow classmates. We can understand being an introvert it is tough to talking to new people, but making good friends is worth being a little uncomfortable. You can initiate your conversation with something going on at school, comment on a homework assignment, or an especially eccentric professor.
- Apart from that say something like, “What did you think of the reading last night?” or “I heard this professor loves cold-calling. I’m kind of nervous!”
- Every time when you find yourself sitting next to a stranger in class, introduce yourself.
- Invite people to hang out. You shouldn’t wait for others to come to you. Take initiative by yourself and ask people in your classes to get ready for a party together, or dorm to grab meal, or head to the gym. That’s ok --asking people to hang out doesn’t make you look weird or desperate for friends. Putting yourself out there is necessary to build connections, and chances are, other people will appreciate the effort.
- Doing daily activities together, like eating, studying, or working out, is a great way to work socializing into your busy schedule.
- If you’re not into partying, invite people over to your dorm for a movie night or an old school slumber party.
- Try to talk to one new person every day. You can start a conversation anywhere. Chat up the guy taking his clothes out of the dryer next to yours or the girl beside you in the elevator. The more people you meet, the more likely you are to find some great friends.
Method 2 - Getting Out of Your comfortable zone /Dorn Room
- Go to campus events. If you’re cooped up in your dorm room all day you can’t make friends. Get dressed, take a deep breath, and head to a party, a football game, a dance, or a campus festival. At these events there could be lots of potential friends. Additionally, keep yourself up to date with campus events can give you more to talk about with your peers.
- Do your homework in social spaces. Of course, during exam time you may need to buckle down at the library, but in calmer times, try doing your homework in the student union or a coffee shop. Sit down next to a person who is friendly-looking student and initiate a conversation.
- You could ask for a recommendation for coffee or a spare pen/pencil.
- Say yes to invitations. Say yes! If someone invites you to lunch, coffee, or a party, While you shouldn’t do anything that goes against your value system, it’s important to get out of your comfort zone in order to meet new people.
If you’re not a huge partier, don’t feel pressured to attend tons of frat parties or drink. You can bond with people in other ways.
- Try to give everyone a chance. Avoid judging people. While you should never do anything you're uncomfortable with, you may be surprised by who ends up becoming your friend!
- Every night eat dinner in the same dining hall. Eat food in the dining hall instead of eating at your dorm room desk. To get to know the other people make an effort who frequent your dining hall. Don’t be hesitate to sit down next to someone new or initiate a conversation at the dessert bar.
- Give your introduction
- Make a comment about the food. If it look a little questionable, nudge the person next to you and say, “What do you think about the food? Should I go for one or steer clear?”
- Invite hall mates over to cook dinner together in case you don’t have a meal plan, or have a potluck-style feast.
Method 3 - Joining Activities and Groups
- Join a club. Check with the Office of Student Engagement or your college’s website to see your options. Probably you’ll find pre-professional clubs, academic clubs, performing arts clubs, cultural clubs, and volunteer clubs. Join one out of them that sounds cool, and be ready to meet and communicate lots of people with common interests.
- If school doesn't have a club its own that you’d like to join, then move step forward and initiate your own club! It would be related to a unique academic interest or your favorite art form.
- Take only that much on your hands which you can easily handle, don’t take on more responsibilities. If you’re a freshman, it’s especially important to give yourself time to adjust to college life. One club is fine. Three clubs could get very overwhelming very quickly.
- Join a sports team. You can join an intramural team, which are pretty casual. These are great if you want to try out a new sport. Join a competitive club team on campus for a more intense experience. There’s nothing wonderful like sweating, competing, and maybe even winning together to foster new friendships.
- If you don’t want to join or commit to any particular team, you can also join a pickup game a few times a week or at the gym take a regular class.
- Volunteer. If there’s a cause that’s close to your heart, see what volunteer opportunities are available. Your college may have a few volunteer organizations or be able to connect you with local opportunities. Volunteering is a perfect way to give back, get out of the college bubble, and meet some similar-minded people.
- Look for on and off-campus volunteer opportunities. Don’t see anything you like? Organize your own project!
- Get a job that involves lots of socializing. Consider working as a peer tutor, a waitress, or a sales associate. Not only will you make some cash to help cover all those college expenses, but you’ll also be able to bond with your coworkers, and maybe even a few clients!
- Through on-campus jobs you can meet plenty of students. However, consider getting a job off-campus if you’re looking for some fresh faces.
- Join a fraternity or sorority. Greek organizations are not for everyone, but they can offer a great sense of community. Consider rushing if this community appeals to you. Remember, if you don’t like it, you can always deactivate.
- Start a study group. Initiate group study with your buddies connect them with you through messages or call. Discussing difficult material together--and maybe one or two crazy professors--is a fast way to bond. Plus, your grades may get a boost!
Method 4 - Attracting the Right People
- Make yourself look approachable. When you’re feeling clumsy or nervous, it’s tempting initializing scrolling mindlessly through your social media feed to look busy. However, this won’t invite people in. Instead, put down the phone and use relaxed, confident body language: stand up straight, smile, and make eye contact with others. You’ll look friendly and open.
- Avoid crossing your arms and looking at the ground.
- Try to avoid spending too much time. While it is important to stay in touch with old friends, it is also a good thing to meet new people.
- Fake it ‘till you make it. Using confident body language will give the illusion that you’re at ease even if you feel awkward.
- Be open to people different than you. College is a time to meet people with different backgrounds and identities. Don’t write someone off just because they aren’t to you or your high school friends. Keep an open mind, and you just might find a new best friend.
- Find a more socialize friend. With an endless variety of people your college will be filled. Some of them will be shy, and others will be the life of the party. You need to find an equilibrium of friends, of course, but you should choose out at least one person, or even a few people, who have really great social skills, are always up to something fun, and are excited to meet new people.
- This will increase your chances of meeting as many people as possible -- and of finding the few people who really matter to you.
- Stay true to yourself. You’ve probably heard this one countless times, but it bears repeating. After all, everyone is anxious to make new friends quickly in college, so they may alter themselves to try to fit in. However, obligate to do friendship usually doesn't work out so well. Be yourself for genuine, lasting connections.
- Focus on your talents and strengths instead of your weaknesses. So what if you’re not so great at math? You’re a superstar in foreign languages!
- Take some time to think about your values and passions. What matters most to you? What do you want to accomplish in life?
- Remember, you can always find people who share your interests, values, and passions. Keep looking for ways to find like-minded people.