It’s time we admit it, making friends at uni is one of the most terrifying experience ever
It gets easier, promise
It's results day, in a way you're more terrified at the prospect of not getting into your first choice uni than your grades. Grades are posted, email from Newcastle; 'congratulations!'. Celebrations ensue… but then a wave of terror hits you, how do I even make friends?
Although possibly over dramatic, making friends at uni is a big deal. For as long as you can remember you probably have had the same group of friends at school or college. You've all grown up together, gone through prom, GCSE's, heartbreaks, arguments anything you can imagine, so you know each other inside out. The thought of leaving them behind to travel six hours across the country is pretty daunting, living in an unknown city which is the complete opposite of the boring, rural village (actually a town, but I'm not counting it as one) I've always lived in. For me, making friends and getting to know people has always been daunting, but there are ways to make it easier.
It sounds obvious but I can't stress how important freshers week is in bonding with your flatmates and meeting everyone you possibly can. Although, it is likely you won't ever speak to half these people again, even though you were 'besties' with them in the first week. But that doesn't matter because you've met people and had an amazing time with people you wouldn't have had the chance of meeting before uni.
The best thing about freshers is how friendly everyone is, everyone wants to talk and get to know you and basically go flat to flat saying hi to everyone. I was determined to have the best first night and invite the whole of Turner Court to pres. Realised this was improbable so I decided to instead message people on our floor, this might be a good start I thought. Ten minutes later waiting for a reply to the most awkward message 'Hi, you don't know me but I'm in the flat next door do you fancy coming round for pres?' so so cringey. But funnily enough it worked, someone even brought brownies round which was the biggest win ever.
Join everything and anything
Maybe societies aren't your thing, or maybe there is nothing you're interested in. But it's really all about the socials, right? Therefore, I found myself at midnight in Freshers' Week scrolling through the societies in desperation for which to join. History, check, English Literature, check, 20 minute society (sounds fun), check. I will admit I have not been to most of the socials for these societies. But if I ever wanted to I could and that was comforting having something to do if i was ever bored or just fancied a night out with a chance of meeting more new people. Joining The Tab even in second semester has given me so much confidence I never thought I had to write whatever I wanted and share ideas with a really friendly and amazing group of people.
Zoo party, yes please?
Buying tickets for events will seem to become a regular occurrence. But there's nothing wrong with splashing out a bit, especially in freshers week, you'll thank yourself later! If all the others have a ticket, just go mad and join them – don't hold back, these could be your new besties after all.
I bought tickets to so many events, even a wristband, and it was a lot of fun. Zoo party at Tiger Tiger being a particular highlight, even though we ended up getting there too early and the place was empty… cannot beat getting out classic leopard print outfit from your wardrobe too.
Don't be afraid to mix home and uni friends
Although, there might be the stress or worry you're betraying your home friends by making new friends at uni… that's not happening. Uni friends will always be different from your home friends as they know you in such different ways after living with and being around you 24/7. They will drive you crazy (particularly when they refuse to take the bins and recycling out), a side you probably wouldn't see to your OG's.
Maybe leave it for the first few weeks to allow yourself to really settle in but it can be super fun to invite your home friends up for nights out, for them an experience in Soho will be something they never forget, maybe because it will scar them for life.
It is cringe to say, but basically just be yourself, there's so many different people to meet and there will always be someone out there you click with!
Photo credit: Sam Cooper (Waikiki)