There is so much pressure during the first few weeks of university to make lifelong friends. In reality half of the people you have met at fresher club nights, you won’t meet again. As a third-year student, I’ve made some of my closest friends later in my university life. There is so much time to find people you click with, and the likelihood is that they won’t magically appear the minute you move into halls. So, how exactly do you make friends after freshers?
You can join a variety of societies at any time throughout your university life. You don’t need to be a fresher and it doesn’t need to be in the very first term. Personally, I joined a society in my third year where I have met so many fantastic people who are now my friends. Societies are often welcoming, happy places where you can meet like-minded individuals who enjoy similar things to you.
You also don’t need to join the society with another friend. Often, joining one can feel daunting no matter what year you’re in. But most of the time everyone in the society has joined knowing nobody as well! If you’re nervous about meeting a group of new people without a friend to hold your hand, remember that everyone in that society felt the same as you at first, and they are there to make you feel welcome.
Your Guild of Students will probably hold a variety of events over the course of the year. Don’t shy away from these! If there is a vintage kilo sale, or a free food giveaway, pop along even for five minutes and strike up a conversation. This can also be a nerve-wracking thing to do for those who are nervous about meeting new people, but working up the courage for a five-minute conversation could lead to having a lifelong friend. The fellow students who host these events are often some of the friendliest and nicest people you will come across who have arranged these events to help everyone mingle and make friends. If speaking to someone attending the event is too much, have a chat with the student reps who often put these events on.
Friends of Friends
An underestimated way to make more friends is to meet friends of friends. If you have a party invitation or are invited to a study session, consider going. This is a great way to meet more new people throughout your years at university and is a better way for more introverted people to widen their friendship group. Go out of your way to chat and approach new people who are around you and make sure to get the socials for anyone you really clicked with. If you get too nervous, your current friend is close by to help out and take some of the anxiety away. Once you have made one friend, the possibilities of making numerous new friends increase even more by meeting their acquaintances, housemates, coursemates and pals.
Not Just Freshers
Making friends is definitely not just for freshers. With so many students coming and going through the years, open yourself up to making new friends and new memories. Although this can be understandably anxiety-inducing, practice really does make perfect in the art of friendship-making. The more you get used to striking up a conversation with a stranger, the easier it becomes, and the more friends can be made.