Upon arriving at University, you’ll meet a variety of personalities and people. It’s a part of making new friends and starting a new course somewhere, and if you’re a bit introverted like me it might seem scary at first but you’ll find some people you feel comfortable around! There’s many ways to make friends, but here’s the 5 ways I found appealing to my introverted side:
1) Hang out in the communal areas in your accommodation
I was luck in the way that Back Halls have a common room in each building, but in the buildings in Founders Court and so on, the kitchen is often a good place for this. I know that it might seem hard to leave your room and brave the new people, however, you can bring a book along with you or something to make you feel more comfortable.
We had a meeting with our Student Assistant on the first day of moving in, and it was in the common room. I found a corner of the room and I squished myself there trying to be inconspicuous, and later on when I was making some food in the kitchen, I officially met some of my flatmates and spoke to them. It was surprisingly not as scary as I was expecting. I clicked with a couple of them instantly and to this day I know they’ll be friends for life now. I found leaving my room helped me so much with making friends within my flat.
2) Make a group chat with and add your flatmates/classmates on Facebook
Facebook can be a great thing sometimes. It definitely helped me when talking to people for the first time. If you don’t want to contact people singularly, group chats are great! Group chats with your classmates will also become useful later when you need help with work and stuff!
Of course, you can’t solely base a friendship around messaging each other online, however, it’s a good starting point to get to know some people. My Student Assistant started a Facebook group and chat with everyone in my building which really helped me feel more comfortable before even arriving at Uni.
3) Join societies
Yes, societies mean you have to actively plan to meet with strangers, however, the run up to your first society meeting is not as nerve-wracking as you might think. Firstly, these people all have an interest in something you’re interested in, so there is so much room for easy and non-stressful conversation starters and topics. Secondly, you get to prepare yourself to meet these people, rather than just throwing yourself in at the deep end.
There are so many societies to join, for example among many other societies there is the Anime Society, Christian Union, Disney Society and Film Society (see the full list by clicking here).
4) Tag along with friends to meet their friends!
Once you’ve met some people and established some friendships, one of the ways I found new people was to join my new friends when they are going to events or meetings with their other friends. These friends could be their classmates or simply someone they’ve started a conversation with and just found to be a cool person. You might feel like these encounters sound similar to platonic third-wheeling, but I got used to talking to my friends’ friends eventually and became just as close to them!
5) And finally… take a leap out of your comfort zone sometimes!
All of the above tips can fall under these in their own varying ways, however, in order to make new friends at University you might need to take risks and get out of your comfort zone at times. Go to that event you’ve been putting off for fear of people expecting something of you. Get out of your room and make an appearance around your accommodation and the campus. Join societies! You’ll feel uncomfortable to begin with but will find good friends and have even better memories.