The first few weeks of university are always hard to adjust to, whether you’re a fresher or a fourth-year. It is, for almost every student, a nerve-wracking time, because making new friends is never an easy experience. So if you feel like you don’t ‘fit in’ with your flat mates, or you haven’t made as many mates as your best friend from home has at their uni, relax! Follow some of these simple steps and you’ll find the transition will be become much smoother.
Firstly, it’s vital that you remember this well-used phrase: the grass is always greener on the other side. When you’re feeling uneasy everyone’s social lives will seem much more exciting than yours, from the giggling girls in the flat downstairs to the rugby captain selling Varsity tickets outside Owen’s Park. But often, all these people are feeling just as nervous about making friends as you are, and would probably welcome you into their group. The key is to act confident, even if you don’t feel it inside. A simple smile or a hello can strike up conversation- and, this is where most friendships begin after all!
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Join a society, which will help you to make friends with people who have the same interests as you- plus, many societies tend to have socials, making it easy to go out and boost your social life. Don’t be afraid to chat with those on your course too, as you’re bound to find like-minded individuals who you’ll be spending the next few years in lectures and seminars with. Make sure you attend those house parties and quiz nights at the pub too, because that’s where the most random (and drunken) friendships form.
Finally, and most importantly, don’t ever pretend to be anyone other than yourself. You will often find that the most popular of people at the beginning of the year tend to become the unhappiest, because they have spent their time putting on a front to impress their new ‘mates’ (remember, the grass is always greener…). The truest and lasting friendships will be formed with people who like you for exactly who you are, and that’s when you will be happiest in yourself. Don’t expect to make millions of friends in your first week, but rest assured that you will make great friends in time.