How to survive if all your mates graduate before you

Maddy McKennaon 11 May 2021
friends dancing and drinking

Wondering how you'll cope when your friends graduate? Never fear, here are our top tips for making new friendships.

Imagine this: you’re living the perfect life at university. You wake up at 11am, but, as your classes don’t start until 2pm, you treat yourself to a lie in… Daily. You’ve found the perfect housemates and have a group to hang out with whatever the weather. You’re living the dream. Then comes the moment you’ve been dreading: your mates graduate before you, and you’re stuck wondering how you’ll cope alone. This can happen to any university student, whether your degree is four years’ long or you applied for a Masters, so it’s important to be prepared for the adjustment. 

Of course, having your friends flee the nest shouldn’t stop you from making the most of your university experience (after all, a lot of students say it’s the best time of their lives!) Think positively and view this as a chance to broaden your social circles and make unlikely friends - whether they’re older or younger than you or into different music. Without further ado, let’s get into the tips for coping with this transition.

1. Make a list of the people you know 

You will not be the only person in this position. Be it your flatmate from the first year or your study partner from a module; chances are you have some contacts in the city. They may not be close friends at the moment, but if you organise a coffee date, movie night or pub crawl, they’ll be your new besties in no time. Remember, making friends takes a little time, so, in the words of Take That, have a little patience

2. See it as a fresh start

While it is always great to have friends at the beginning of the academic year, think back to your time as a Fresher. You moved into a new city or town without knowing anyone, and you still managed to make friends within the first week, and all it took was a couple of drunken nights out, and ice-breaker pub crawls. So, put on a brave face and put yourself out there for friends to come to you. Just because you’re no longer a Fresher, it doesn’t mean your window of opportunity for making friends is over. Say yes to opportunities, and you’ll find yourself making new friends (and new hobbies) easily. 

3. Make friends with your friends’ friends 

That’s a bit of a mouthful, but it’s true that birds of a feather flock together. Your friends are likely to have similarly-minded pals that you can be friends with too. If you have housemates, don’t be afraid to ask them to join a society event and mingle with different social circles. 

4. Try out friend dating apps 

Ever heard of Bumble? Of course, but have you heard of Bumble BFF? If you’re looking for like-minded friends and don’t know where to start, try out Bumble BFF, where you can connect with people around you. Plus, you get to see what hobbies they’re into and what they’re looking for (e.g. whether they want to grab a coffee or hit up the pubs) even before you meet up with them. 

5. Ask your friends for connections

Even if your friends leave the university bubble to start their careers, you can still make friends with people they know in the city. Ask them to contact friends who are still studying so you can create new connections. Remember, most people are happy to make new friends. 

6. Make the most of societies and classes 

Without a doubt, joining in with societies will be easier once social distancing and other restrictions are lifted, start creating connections online and then see if you can meet up when possible. If you’re shy when it comes to meeting new people, then this is the perfect way to ease yourself into making new friends as you’ll already know them. 

Take an active role in your favourite society. Whether you’re a treasurer or in charge of social events, people will know your name, and you will be in a position to host meet and greets for members of the society. Plus, even if you live on your own, getting involved in what you love will help distract you from the fact that you now live independently.

7. Live your best life, but keep in touch with your mates

While these tips will, with any luck, help you expand your social circles and have fun at university, it is still crucial to keep in contact with your friends who have graduated. Graduate life can be just as difficult and isolating as your friends adjust to life outside of the university bubble. Make time to check-in and be there for your friends, as they will do for you. Plus, you can even introduce them to your new friends so that they benefit from new friendships, too!

Remember, your friends will be jealous that you’re still a student. After graduation, most students crave university life like never before. University comes with a sense of freedom and a lack of structure that means you can truly do what you want when you want. That said, your friends are sure to visit you so they can relive their university days so you won’t always be alone. And, remember, being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely!

Do you find it easy to socialise at university? Join our Student Panel and let us know. Plus, we’ll give you a £10 Amazon voucher just for signing up!

Maddy McKennaon 11 May 2021