Starting University: Making Friends
A previous hub I wrote (check link below) indicated that the biggest fear of new students, is not being able to make any friends. Obviously each person is different and there is no definite way to make friends, however I will give a lot of advice on what you can do from situations I found myself in and some of my friends.
University is always talked of as one of the best experiences in a persons life, in order to make the most of your time at University you need to be willing to go that extra mile. What I mean by this is that you branch out from your normal behaviour, do something that scares you, try something new but most importantly just be yourself. University is seen as a time for people to reinvent themselves, yes this is true but that doesn't mean acting like something you are not.
- Starting University, Facing your fears
A lot of people have misconceptions of what University is going to be like, especially when moving really far from home.
Meeting your flat/house mates.
The majority of new students will have their parents with them when moving in so this can sometimes help as you are not alone. Once you get all your stuff in your room don't bother unpacking (unless no other students are there yet) as you should make it a priority to meet your new flat mates. They will most likely be your closest friends during your first year as you will be spending a lot of time with them.
Firstly make sure to leave your door open on the moving in day, this indicates to your flat mates that you want to meet them. Be sure to check if any of your flatmates have already moved in. People may tell you that you need to make a good first impression but this isn't too much of a big deal. Most people don't actually start to feel comfortable till a few days of passed, people will start to notice as you come out of your shell.
The first night out.
The usual time to move in for most student accommodation is the weekend before the start of freshers week. The first group of people you will go out with will be your flatmates and/or neighbours. This can be the most nervous you will be when you first start University. You don't really know anybody and you will most likely go to a flat party near you. The best way to overcome any shyness here is to participate in the drinking games.
This is probably the only time you should go to a club even if you don't like the music they play. Most of your friendship bonds with flatmates will start building during this night out, you can also do what ever you feel like and blame it on the drink.
Dealing with homesickness.
Try not to go skyping/calling all your home friends every time you feel lonely, this will only heighten your level of loneliness as it will seem as you have no close friends at University. It is better to try and get to know more people at the University especially those on your academic course.
Meeting your course mates
During the intro week/ freshers week you will have many tasks to do during the day, this includes:
- Course introduction.
- Course break the ice session.
- Societies fair.
- Activities fair.
The break the ice session is the best opportunity to meet fellow students, you shouldn't really bother doing the activity they suggest and just introduce yourself normally. Properly getting involved in the activity usually makes you look too keen. Try to find students that you get along with so that when you go on your first social you have people to talk to.
Your first social.
Do not miss your first social, for most science and engineering based socials only have a lot of students this one time. If you miss the first one it is likely that the next social could only have up to 30 students come along. The social is nearly always a bar crawl and occurs at the same time as at least one other society, so you also have the chance of meeting students on other courses.
If you have any worries that haven't been mentioned above then please leave me a comment. I will try and get a Q&A hub done once enough questions have been received. If you would like to send questions anonymously you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.