Making friends at uni: Andrea’s top tips

30 Jul 2020
Friends hanging out

Understandably, the thought of starting uni for the first time can set the butterflies soaring in a lot of students’ stomachs. Suddenly you’ll have to learn to navigate a new city and an unfamiliar campus, full of new people and potential friends. This can all seem pretty daunting, and maybe you’re asking yourself; “How am I supposed to properly get to know anyone and make any friends?” These are very natural questions to ask, but just remember, almost all of the other students will be asking themselves the same thing.

I’m positive you’ll figure everything out on your own, in your own time, but to give you a friendly push on the way, here are a couple of short tips on how to meet new people and make some good friends during your first couple of weeks:

Get in contact with people before uni starts

Make sure you join the university's Find Your Tribe group on Facebook where you can find other students who are going to Winchester. There you'll also find group chats for the different courses so you can find people you’ll be studying with. This means that you’ll have someone to share your thoughts, expectations and worries with before getting to uni, and also that you’ll have some friendly and familiar faces to look for in the crowds once you get there.

Get to know your flatmates!

Try keeping your door open as you move your things during move in-week! This is a great opportunity to get to know the people in your flat. Say hello when you move in, and maybe offer to help if you see someone almost toppling over under the weight of their heavy boxes. Show interest in the others moving in, and remember, suitcases and bags full of clothes and books and pictures are great conversation starters and icebreakers. Also, try to spend as much time as possible in the kitchen or the shared and social areas of your flat. Put some effort into properly getting to know your flatmates. After all, you’re going to be living together for the next year or so, might as well get some friends out of it.

Knock on doors

If you haven’t met all the people you live with during the first couple of days (and are feeling particularly brave), try knocking on their doors! Chances are they’ve just been busy unpacking or that you’ve just missed each other, not that they’ve purposefully avoided you. It’s always nice to say hi and establish some form of contact. They’re most likely just happy that you took the initiative to start the conversation.

Talk to people on your course

As many as possible. Try and sit down next to someone you haven’t talked to before and make some casual small talk. Talking to people in your lectures is great, because not only are you making friends, but this way you also get to know people to pair up with, if there is ever a group project or some coursework you need to work together on.

Join societies

There is such a wide range of different societies and teams at the uni, so there should be something for everyone. Meeting people with shared interests is a great way of making friends, and this way you’ll get to know people not just on your course or in your flat. Also, if you’re trying out a society or an activity you’ve never done before, nothing knits people together more than learning and succeeding on something new.

Go to events

It can be a bit scary to dress up and go to an event on your own, but if you feel like you don’t really know that many people, parties and nights out can be a fun place to get to know some new ones. Talk to people in the bar or the sofa areas, ask them their name or how they’re doing. In the first couple of weeks of the term, most people will be as eager as you to make as many friends as possible.

Friends of friends

When all of that is said, don’t stress too much about whether or not you’ll be able to make friends when you get to uni – you absolutely will. Just be yourself and be nice to people, and you’re pretty much sorted. However, seeking out events with other students, spending time in the kitchen in your flat and for example, the cafes around the student union, showing some initiative and talking to people will get you far.

Good luck, you'll do great!

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