Are you worried you'll be friendless when you move into your new digs at university? Don't stress - here are 11 easy ways you can make connections.
Students often worry about making friends once they’ve moved out, so you’re not alone. Remember that everyone is in the same boat; most people have never lived away from home before and don’t know the area. It’s all a learning curve, and you can go through it together.
Also, remember that university is set up so that you can meet people. Even if you’ve been living in your new digs for a couple of weeks and are struggling to make connections, take a look around you - there are plenty of ways you can meet like-minded people.
Here are the best ways to feel right at home at university:
1. Scour your accommodation
The main place to meet people is in your halls. Your neighbours are unlikely to know anyone either, so why not greet them and be instant BFFs? Homemade cupcakes always help, or a lunch date!
2. Look to your fellow coursemates
Bond over your love for ancient history, playing the bass or the French language.
3. Sports clubs and societies
Get together over a pint after a game of hockey, rugby or chess.
4. Stay in contact with your family
Don’t forget about your family - although it can be sad to remember who you’ve left behind, it’ll also feel like a warm hug.
5. Attend Freshers’ events
It’s not weird to go to these events alone. Most people will go alone and will want to find others who aren’t already in a group.
6. Invite your friends down
Ask your flatmates and course friends to join you and your home friends. Host an epic house party, movie night or day out. You’ll feel more confident with familiar faces around.
7. Get out of your room
It’s easy to spend a lot of time in your room, especially when exam season is looming, but it will make you feel more alone. Study in the communal spaces in your accommodation, hit up a café or find a study group you can chat with while you work.
8. Organise plans
Ironically, when you live with your flatmates, it’s easy not to spend quality time with them, which can lead to feelings of loneliness. Whether regular or one-off, plan a meal out, a trip to the pub, or even a night to cook together and watch a movie.
9. Get a job or volunteer
Although most people get a job for extra income, it’s also a great way of meeting new people. This is particularly true for hospitality work which is people-facing.
10. Write it down
Sometimes loneliness can feel a bit overwhelming and hard to express. While it’s always encouraged to chat about your feelings, writing it down or journaling is a great alternative to letting out your emotions.
11. Seek professional help
If you continue to feel lonely or sad, seek support. Your university will have mental and emotional support services available, or you can go to your GP, who will point you in the right direction.
Check out our other health and wellbeing articles for more advice on looking after your mental state while at university. And remember, try to get involved and say ‘yes’ to opportunities. The world is your oyster!