- Education and Science
Starting University, Facing your fears
What are your fears?
- Starting University: Making Friends
In a recent hub I wrote a poll indicated that the majority of new students are worried about making friends. This is a hub giving advice on how to make friends at University.
Moving away from home.
Everyone is different and so this may not apply to you, however many posts I saw online depicted a fear of being away from home. This could be for many different reasons:
- Feeling homesick.
- Fending for yourself.
- Washing your own clothes.
The best way to overcome any homesickness you are feeling is to print out and bring as many photographs with you as you can. These should be photos of your friends and family, it really helped my flatmates with homesickness. You can pin them on the board you should get in your room and if you run out of space just stick them on your wardrobe. Another fear I found a lot of people were afraid to disobey the accommodation security. You should know that people like to take advantage if they think you will not confront them. Don't listen to things you don't think seem fair. Most Universities will have easy to use washers and dryers so don't worry too much about that.
Now that your living alone you may need to start budgeting. First thing I should point out, is that at University your friends will convince you to do things you weren't planning to do. Be it a night out, casino trip or eating at a restaurant. This kind of prevents you from making a proper budget and so I would advise to just put away an amount of money every month for food. If you think you may struggle with grocery shopping try to find a cheaper store than the usual. If you check your mail when you get there the cheaper stores usually have leaflets sent out already.
Moving in with strangers
University has people from many different cultures and backgrounds, with regards to accommodation the University will try to put you with similar people. This is to calm your worries and try to make you comfortable. I mean this very generally, as in Spanish internationals together and Chinese internationals together. My flat was all from the UK and two were from the city as me (London). Unfortunately the University can't always group you perfectly, I had a friend who was living with 5 international students who would hardly use English. This could become very frustrating especially if you were already worried about making friends. If this happens to you I would try to get to know your flatmates but also branch out to your neighbors. A lot of first years are happy to open their door to others in the building, or you could even go around knocking on doors on different floors.
Meeting my flatmates was a bit weird at first, didn't really have much to say to each other and I felt like we wouldn't get along. They would laugh at things I didn't think were even remotely funny. This changed as the day went on and after our first night out together. First thing you should do with new people is let them know what your like. What I mean by this is if you don't want to share your glasses plates etc.. tell them. When everyone had moved in they were talking about how we can all share each others food and how "what's mine is your's" I immediately said nope 'mine is just mine'. You might not want to oppose your flatmates at first,but I can assure you it is better than letting them do stuff that annoys you. Another Idea is to make a cleaning rota and/or a cooking rota, depends on the people but it can be helpful. The problem with the cooking rota is that you will always have to eat with your flatmates and make sure to be home for certain times. Doesn't seem like much of a problem but if you are with friends you don't wanna leave to be home for dinner. An advantage though is that each person cooks one day a week for the rest of the flat. You can experience a variety of food and not have to spend time cooking everyday.
What rota would you try?
Picture from one of my fresher nights.
Making new friends
Most importantly you must be yourself, many people for some reason want to reinvent themselves as something they are not. Don't get disheartened if you don't make loads of friends right away, some people just need more time.
As well as flatmates you should get to know the rest of your building. Luckily for me one of my flatmates had already spoke to quite a few people living in our flat through Facebook. I actually wouldn't have been able to do this myself because it sounds very time consuming, but if your lucky you might get a flatmate like mine. My flatmate invited everyone he had met on Facebook over to our flat for pre-drinks and I made quite a few new friends. Pre-drinks if anyone is wondering is were you have a few drinks in the flat before going out, this helps with socializing because no one wants to talk in the club.
For making friends freshers is the best time, everyone is in that making friends mood. You may find quickly disappears after freshers week when groups start to form. You might have to participate in a few drinking games were you realize everyone else is fine with drinking from the same bottle except for you (if you'r one of those really clean people, like me). The games don't usually vary and it is near always one of the following:
- Ring of fire.
- Shot roulette.
- I have never.
Outside of drinking I think the best way to make friends is by participating in Give It A Go events. These are for freshers to see what the sports / activities are like, they also provide a social scenario that doesn't include hearing "down it freshers every 5 minutes.
Thanks For Reading
If there is anything specific about University life you would like to hear my experience of, feel free to comment below.