So, when you start uni, chances are you’re gonna know nobody there. If that is indeed the case, there’s going to be some awkwardness when meeting new people (especially if, like me, you’re a socially awkward person). Well not to worry, it’s actually fairly easy to make friends at uni but just in case you’re struggling, here’s a guide on how to meet people and befriend them.
Step 1: Meeting People
This is probably the easiest step. As there are thousands of students attending the University of Leicester, you’re bound to bump into someone you get along with. If however, you’re stuck for places to meet people, here are a few places you will likely meet people at uni.
- Your accommodation: Chances are, these will be the first people you meet and chances are, you’re going to get along with one of your flatmates. In order to meet with them, I suggest you leave your door open when you unpack and if you hear movement from the kitchens, don’t be afraid to say hi. I can’t guarantee that you’ll like everyone from your flat and some of them are probably going to drive you nuts but as you are living with them for a year, you will get to know them very well and it’s possible you’ll form a close bond with them. In essence, they’ll be like your family. Sure they can drive you crackers but you’ll probably love them all the same. I know I think of my flatmates from my first and second year very fondly.
- Your course: One advantage of meeting someone in your course is that they share the same ambitions and interests as you so you’d have something to talk about. What’s even more awesome is that, as they do the same course as you, they can be of tremendous help if you’re stuck on an essay or something. Likewise, you can help them too. This comradery could lead to friendship.
- Clubs and societies: Like with your course, the main advantage you have when finding friends within societies is that they’ll undoubtedly have the same interests as you. Doing fun things together whilst also sharing common ground in terms of interests and hobbies leads to friendships and a ready-made social group.
- Social events: If you’re staying in Oadby or City Living, the university hosts social events designed for people to meet each other and have fun. You don’t have to go to them if you don’t want to but I highly recommend it if you’re struggling to socialise.
Step 2: Breaking the Ice
Of course, meeting people is one thing but actually talking to them?! I don’t know about you but the prospect sounds terrifying.
All joking aside, it may be nerve-wracking to work up the courage to speak to people and nobody really wants to talk about the weather, nor does anyone really want a dead-aired moment of awkward silence. Here are a few good ways to break the ice:
- Introduce yourself: Always an important one since they need to know who you are. Naturally, they should reply with their own name. It’s also important to shake their hand and say ‘nice to meet you’
- Ask them about their course: A good point of discussion at a university. Not only can you ask them what they are doing but perhaps why they are doing it and what they want to do in the future.
- Ask where they’re from: This shows that you want to know more about them and it could be something you have in common if you happen to come from the same place.
- Discuss interests: This will be easy if you meet people in societies or in your course because chances are, they share the same interests anyway. Another method I found useful is that I showed off my interests. As my interests are rather geeky in nature (Doctor Who, Star Wars, Harry Potter etc.), I wore t-shirts and hoodies displaying said interests. Alternatively, you can always show off your room to your housemates as that gives them a good glimpse as to what you are like.
Now of course, how you approach people depends on how you are as a person. These are simply the techniques I use to make friends and usually, it works. for me. I’m not saying these are rules on how to make new friends but simply guidelines. What really wins someone over in my eyes is personality and that’s all down to you.
There is one thing I am confident in though: I’m sure there’s someone out there for you. You’ve just got to look for them.
But of course, I could be completely wrong about this so what do you think is the best way to make friends? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I shall see you next time. Until then, fare thee well good people of the internet!