Written by Student Engagement Ambassador Lara Brittain
One of the scariest things about starting university is not knowing anyone around and being in a new environment – But don’t fear, I am writing this to give you some of my tips and advice, as someone who has been in your shoes.
When coming to university for the first time it is likely that the first thing you will do is move into your room. Take some time to try to make yourself feel at home and comfortable before stressing about meeting flatmates and making friends.
There are many events and ways that allow you to meet people at the University. In this blog, I will given you some tips and some context into my experience of making friends at The University of Reading.
When I moved into university accommodation, everyone in your flat move in on the same day so you will meet most of your flat that same day which I found nice. I found during freshers week it was nice to stick with people in my building and flat as this automatically means you have something in common and can easily walk to places together. Within flats Reading often mixes different courses and backgrounds of people to make it diverse which also helps you get to know many different people. Of course if you don’t get on with your flatmates this isn’t the only way to make friends so no need to worry!
Going to lectures and chatting with course mates is one of the best ways to make friends with people in a similar situation to you. It allows you to chat with others about the work and deadlines you may have which can help take the stress away from work. Often group projects are required at some point in the year so this can help you get to know more people on your course and finding people you get on well with. Reaching out to people on your course asking to chat about the work or asking to meet in the library can be a really nice way to make friends is something many students will appreciate.
Many of the courses at Reading are part of a larger school, for example I study Biomedical Engineering which is part of the School of Biomedical Sciences. For some lectures and practical’s we are mixed with other courses so gives you an opportunity to meet people from other courses and practical’s are a great way to work with other students in a variety of courses which can be a great way of making friends.
SOCIETIES AND SPORTS
Most of my best friends I have are from joining Reading University Boat Club at the start of first year. In my opinion joining societies and sports is the best way to make friends as you automatically have something in common and have a common goal of succeeding in that sport/activity. Most societies will meet at least once a week so is great to have some structure and something to focus on other than work. Socials are also a great thing to participate in with your sport/society as you will stick together as a group and is a great way to meet people in a variety of different year groups. Socials can often break the ice at the start of the year and in my opinion is one of the best things to do to make friends.
Especially during freshers week the university often puts on social events to help freshers make friends and get to know each other. Attending these as a flat, with a society or by yourself are all perfectly fine.
In summary the most important thing to remember is that all freshers are in the same situation so don’t be shy about signing up to things and stepping forward. It is never too late to make friends as I am still meeting people in third year. Embrace the university life and chat to people along the way, most importantly don’t stress and have fun!