How I Made Friends at Uni: Navigating Social Circles and Building Lasting Connections

Two female students smiling on campus. They are wearing headscarves

Hi guys! I am Audrey, an international student from Hong Kong. I recalled arriving at university as a mix of excitement and nerves, especially when faced with the challenge of making new friends. The initial days felt daunting, trying to navigate a new academic environment while also striving to establish meaningful connections.

However, as time passed, I found my footing. Engaging in various activities, participating in societies, and initiating conversations with peers during lectures gradually led me to build friendships that I cherish. I discovered a supportive social circle that made my university journey immensely enjoyable and fulfilling.

Meeting people within University circle

Engaging with Peers in Your Course

One of the simplest yet often overlooked methods of making friends is by connecting with classmates. A friendly smile or a quick hello during lectures or tutorials can break the ice. First-year students, in particular, share a common ground of starting their university journey, making it easier to initiate conversations.

A meme. The text on the image says- Me: "Why haven't I made any friends in college?" Then says me when the lecture ends implying to images of someone pushing out of a door and running down a hall.

Involvement in Course-Specific Activities

Participating in activities aligned with your course, such as joining the society of your course like law society, business society, etc opens doors to social opportunities. These societies organize various events like film nights, trips and themed balls, fostering a sense of camaraderie among like-minded individuals.

Socialising with Your Flatmates

Staying at halls often introduce you to a diverse group of people. Engaging with flatmates, despite differences in schedules or courses, can be a gateway to building friendships. Initiating activities like board game nights or communal cooking sessions can create bonding experiences.

Three people in a kitchen, preparing food, laughing and chatting

Embracing Clubs, Societies, and Sports

University clubs and societies catering to various interests. Engaging in these extracurricular activities, whether in music, cultural exchange, or sports, provides opportunities to meet individuals who share similar passions.

Find your tribe here!

Expanding Beyond University Boundaries

Exploring Inter-University Events

Interconnected societies across universities host events and gatherings. Following these groups on social media platforms and participating in their events offers a chance to expand your social circle beyond the confines of your university.

For example, Enactus is an organisation that connects over 72,000 university students actively living as entrepreneurial, values-driven social innovators. Their commitment to action and outcomes is positively impacting the lives of 1.3 million people yearly.

Lets’ make lifelong bonds at University!

Looking back, these avenues played a crucial role in shaping my university experience. They helped me build a supportive network of friends, creating cherished memories that continue to enrich my journey.

Check out resources available within University of Reading, follow social media accounts like UoR Student, Reading Students’ Union and UoR Events for updates on on-campus activities, and download the Reading Students’ Union app for event bookings.

Additionally, if you are facing financial constraints in joining societies, the Access to Activity fund by the Reading Students’ Union is a valuable resource. The fund aims to assist students who hesitate due to financial concerns.

Remember, university life is not just about academics; it’s a place for personal growth and connections. Embrace the journey, take the initiative, and forge friendships that can last a lifetime!

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