There are many different ways to make friends at uni throughout the academic year.
For some students, the first year can be very tough and weird to make friends. You’re just starting to get to know people, you’re trying to cope with a lot of information from your course, it might be the first time living on your own away from home, family and friends, there are other students in some of your modules that you just see once a week (because classes are too mixed and large), maybe you’re more of an introvert and it’s more difficult for you to make friends, not confident enough, etc.
We have all been through those points and a huge percent of students, at least in the first year, find it difficult to make friends mostly because of the lack of trust. We all need someone we can trust, be comfortable with (and mostly, very importantly, be yourself!!) and we can share the crazy, good and bad moments throughout your years at uni.
Here're few examples of students, like you, that found their way to make great friends during their time at uni.
“My now best friend at uni is also the person I work with in most of my projects in film. We met the first day of class last year (I was running late because of my commuting train) and I sat in the only seat available on the side. We started to talk when the lecture made us talk about a specific topic, then we found out we came from the same country. What made us really close friends was our passion and creative ideas about cinematography. We also shared great personal moments, trips and we are reaching professional goals helping one each other. We have been a great support for each other this first year”.
“I had always been very lucky with making friends at high school, but I often stuck with a core group, and had to find friends through them or my classes. When it came to uni, I didn't click completely or instantly with the people I shared a kitchen with or anyone on my course. And none of the events seemed overtly interesting, especially not to attend alone. However, when I came back for the second semester, I just went to everything I could, and I also started just sitting with strangers in seminars and saying hello, being more unabashed about asking names forty-six times before I remembered, and not being embarrassed to turn around and talk to the row behind me if I heard a joke that was my sense of humour. Now, I am spoilt for choice in friends. I would also advise people to be patient! Even if you make friends straight away, they may not be quite your people, and that may feel frustrating, but never feel afraid to talk to other people in your class, to branch out and sit with strangers. It may not always work, and you may even worry you're being rude to those people who would sit next to you, but maybe you're not so keen - but so long as you're never outwardly mean, I actually think it's an important lesson to learn that you don't ever have to feel stuck with people you don't actually get on with. You can talk to whoever you want to”.
"The most valuable thing you can do is literally just sit next to someone new. It's frightening and terrifying and sometimes the person won't talk back- but try again with someone else, it pays to put yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone."
Here's a few useful tips:
- For some students, Freshers week, welcome week, events at uni are a good way to socialise and meet new people (even if they’re not studying the same course as you).
- Societies are a good way to make new friends and probably one of the most recommended. If you have a hobby, an interest you can join a society or create a new one if you can’t find one you like. A lot of students at uni find and create their group of friends (it doesn’t have to be a big group!) through societies and clubs. If you want to find more about this at ARU, you can click here, or pop up at Student Union Office to find out more.
- It’s normal that during your first year it’s difficult to know new people and make friends. Trust and confidence are something that is not built from the first day, but you need to think you’re not alone in the struggle and they're more students like you. Sometimes even the tiniest silly thing, can make people get together and become really good friends. You need to think and understand there’s no perfect person in the world and it’s good to take the risk to meet new people.
- Don’t get stressed if you can’t make friends straight away in your first year, things and people change (even if you make friends in the first year, but now you don’t get along that much). Sometimes it’s better to have those 2-3 friends (or one), than a lot of them but you might still feel alone. Being surrounded by people that deserve your time, love and appreciation are always important (doesn’t matter if you are at uni, or out of it!).
- Your housemates also count. We know it’s difficult to get along with people you don’t know living under one roof for quite a long time. Sometimes you can be surprised how much you all can have something in common. It can be a movie night, one evening out for fun or just get everyone to see your favourite series on Netflix.
Note: Thank you to Ben Jones and Megan Elisabeth Cassells for sharing their experience. Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments bellow, a lot of us will appreciate!