The gap between finishing Sixth Form or College and waiting to start university can either feel like it’s taking forever or that it is approaching far too quickly – depending on how busy your summer is (or how nervous you are). However, regardless of your plans for the long break, it’s the perfect time to start (introducing yourself, getting to know people and) making friends ahead of Freshers’ Week.
In my case, I remember discovering the University of Lincoln’s ‘Friends for Life’ scheme and, at first, approaching it with caution. What if I don’t make a good impression when I talk to my potential coursemates? What if I don’t get on with some of them?
Fortunately, I had nothing to worry about. I met my first coursemate over Twitter, where I soon realised we had a lot in common and I was added to a Facebook chat with more people who had received conditional and unconditional offers – even having a quick chat to some of them over Skype at one point too.
Aside from coursemates, there’ll also be opportunities to get to know your flatmates too, should you be living in shared accommodation. One of the great things about university is that there are so many people studying different courses, taking part in different societies and living in different accommodations whom you can make friends with.
After finishing unpacking at my flat, I attended the first night of the Students’ Union’s events – the Welcome Party. There was a sense of excitement which came with recognising certain faces in the crowd. Throughout the night, I had people to talk to and spend the evening with. As well as being people you will work with during your course, your coursemates also become people who you will have fun with too.
The other benefit of making friends in advance is that these connections will most likely take place online. As a generation of young people with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp and so forth, a lot of friendships grow on these platforms, and with the added bonus that you can edit what you say. Whilst an embarrassing slip-up in person could create a bad first impression, chatting over Facebook Messenger allows you to put your best foot forward and takes the heat off an awkward icebreaker, too.
However, where should you look first? Well, every year, there is usually a ‘University of Lincoln Meet & Greet’ page set up on Facebook which is full of people looking to find potential coursemates. Accommodation providers may also have their own groups too.
So, as the excitement builds over the summer, be sure to keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook for opportunities to meet potential coursemates. University is a fantastic place to meet new people and make friends, but what’s not to say that you can make friends with fellow students already?