three friends sat on stairs outside chatting and smiling

Tips for making friends when starting university

Most new students worry about making friends when they move to university. While it is true everyone is in the same boat, not every boat is the same. So whether you are an introvert or an extrovert – living at home or moving away, here are some of my top tips on how to make friends.

Start before you go:

It is likely that once you have been assigned a flat, someone will create a group chat. If they haven’t, then why not create one yourself! Speaking online before you all get to uni allows you to find out what you have in common. If you are shy around new people, this could be a good way of making you more comfortable when you move in, as you will already have topics in mind for chatting in person.

Lend a helping hand:

If you are one of the first people to move in, be sure to help out your flatmates. They are your term time family so treat them just as well as you would treat your actual family. If you help them when they need it, they will be sure to help you when you need it too.

Always be open for a conversation:

Bring a doorstop and keep your door open! This not only shows your flatmates that they can pop their head in for a chat, it also gives a good indication to your flatmates of when you are in so they can be sure to include you in any group activities they are doing.

Join a sport or a society:

With over 150 different societies ranging from Kofukan Karate to the British Sign Language society, no matter what you like, there is guaranteed to be a society that you would enjoy. Joining a society allows you to spend time doing something you enjoy with other like-minded people. This is great for making new friends and with lots of inter-society competitions and activities, it is also a good opportunity to take a break from university work.

If your flat/accommodation has public spaces use them:

We all know the best way to watch your favourite movies and TV shows is in bed surrounded by snacks. But it is unlikely you are going to make friends at uni that way. Try spending some of your free time in your kitchen or living area instead. It is likely there will be people constantly coming and going so you can chat to anyone who pops in. Watching what you like in your shared space is also a great way of finding something you and your flatmates both enjoy.

Cup of tea anyone?

Whether your drink is tea, coffee, hot chocolate or even a cold drink, when you make yourself a drink ask your flatmates if they would also like one. It may seem like a small gesture, but it will give you a good opportunity to chat, particularly if your flatmates are spending lots of time in their rooms.

Bake or bring something to share:

The way to any students’ heart is good food. Bringing some food, be it home made or shop bought, to share on move in day can be a great talking point. Baking is also a great team building activity to help build friendships too so get creative!

If you have any questions about making friends when starting uni please put them in the comments and I will be sure to answer them. Information about the different support the university has in place throughout your studies here can be found on the SU website.

Please note: This content was created prior to Coronavirus, and some things might be different due to current laws and restrictions. Please refer to the Students’ Union and the University of Lincoln for the latest information.