Making friends

Five tips for making friends when you arrive at uni from Goldsmiths student Amera Mohamed.

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One of the most daunting parts of starting university is the prospect of making new friends. So whether you’re moving to a different country, city or staying at home, a fan of heavy nights out or don’t drink at all, here are some tips to help you along the way.

Attend all of the Welcome events

And don’t be put off if you’re going alone. Welcome events are the best way to start meeting other people, especially since everybody is new at this point and actively looking to socialise.

Don’t shy away from these events and wait until later to meet people as by then it can feel as though friendship groups are already forming, and you may start feeling like it’s harder to interject yourself into these.

Say “yes”

Say “yes” to everything. You will meet a lot of people during Welcome Week and be invited to attend weird to wonderful to niche events.

Guaranteed, you won’t know or speak to all of these people after a couple of weeks, and you might not go back to the Hot Yoga Society, but giving everything a chance is the only way you’ll find what/who you gravitate towards.

Give everybody a chance

Don’t judge people before giving them a chance. Friendships can come in different guises, something my first year at university taught me.

You probably have an idea of the ‘type’ of friends you want, but don’t write somebody off before getting to know them – they really could surprise you, and you could have more in common than you think.

Join social media groups

Get into socialising early by joining your halls and course social media groups – it’s a good way to start conversing with people you will most likely be spending the most time with and seeing regularly.

If you find yourself tripping over your words when you first meet people, communicating online can be a good social buffer when you don’t really know many of your fellow new students.

This is also a good way of keeping track of the range of Welcome Week events happening and what wristbands and tickets you need for all them.

Put yourself out there

Be the one to make the first move, even if you are naturally shy and anxious and it takes everything in your being to do it. When I started at university, I was excited to meet people but had absolutely no intention of making the first move.

You’ve heard it a million times before, but everyone is in the same boat and the more you give out the more you’ll receive.

Hang around in the communal areas, don’t stay cooped up in your room, help other people move in if you arrive before them and ask people to make plans or ask to join theirs. And don’t choose the easy option of sitting alone in lectures – it’s the perfect way to meet people.

Lastly, keep your expectations reasonable. Welcome Week has a reputation of being the best week of your life; the time you’re supposed to meet all your best friends. But really, it’s a process that will continue throughout your entire three years.

Velvet and Raffaele chat about life as a student and making friends at university