You made it. You’re in your new dorm room at the university you chose and studying what you wanted to learn but something is missing. Loneliness is a familiar feeling for students, especially those who are leaving home and being independent for the first time. Making friends at any stage of your life is tough, but how do you make friends at university? Read on to find some top tips on how to make friends when you start a new college or university.
Before You Arrive
Make connections before the semester starts by joining Facebook groups. Many universities have specific groups created for new students joining that academic year. By joining these groups and introducing yourself, you are already forming connections with people who may be studying the same course as you, are staying in the same halls of residence, or have similar interests to you.
Remember not to overdo it by commenting on every post but do reach out to those who you think you might create a future connection with. First impressions are everything and do remember that everyone is in the same situation as you, they are all nervous, excited, and worried about meeting new people and making new friends. Chat with a few different people that are going to be studying your subject by asking them about the books on your reading list or start a conversation with someone who is going to be sharing the same apartment block as you by asking them about what items they are bringing when they move in. It might be out of your comfort zone being so forward, but at least there will be a few familiar faces and it will seem less daunting when you arrive.
The First Few Weeks
When you move into your dorm room or halls of residence, be as welcoming as possible including keeping your door open. Let the other students know that you are there, and they are free to come in and say hello, having an open door means you can hear what is going on outside and you will be able to greet other students as they move in. You could also pack a few fun games when you go to university, it’s a great way to break the ice and get everyone who lives in the same building together for some bonding time.
Don’t wait to be invited to things, get involved when you arrive and show your face. Be sure to sign up for a new society or club and check out all the events put on for students in those first few weeks. Whatever you decide to do, have an open mind. You might join a choir, try a new sport or join an anime society to meet new people who share the same interest as you. This is the time to experiment, don’t be afraid to try new things.
Things to Remember
Making friends can sometimes take some time, don’t rush, and remember quality friends are what you are searching for, people that will be there to support you during your education journey and beyond. There are many that say that you sometimes meet friends for life at university, good friendships take time to blossom.
Be open to spending time with your new flat mates, hanging out in common areas, or inviting them on a group night out to get to know them better. University or college can be an overwhelming and stressful time for anybody, but it doesn’t have to be, it can also be fun, enriching, and life changing.
Making friends at university can be a minefield because not everyone is the same. Some people enjoy going out to nightclubs and other students prefer hanging out at a cafe, many students will live on campus, but some may be living at home and traveling to university daily to take their classes. The most important thing to remember is to be yourself and embrace the adventure of meeting new people.