Going into a new environment alone, especially to a completely different nation, might be frightening. As the saying goes, at home one relies on one’s parents and outside on one’s friends. Indeed a friend has a crucial influence on one’s life and will certainly make a difference in one’s academic career.
From my own experience, living in student accommodation is unquestionably the finest and quickest way to meet new people. Living in a large group pushes us to venture outside our comfort zone and engage in more social interaction with strangers, which may develop into a new connection. Learning from one another is also an excellent approach for enhancing social skills and self-development.
Friends are often people with comparable interests and viewpoints. Joining societies is, therefore, a fantastic way to meet others who share your interests. We tend to have stronger connections with individuals who share our interests, and not only we can expose ourselves better, we can enjoy things other than academics. A wonderful way to blend curriculum and studies.
In my first year, I joined the Dance Society and made it into the team to compete, and it has been my best decision ever! I get to meet outstanding dancers not only in Lincoln, but across the country during competitions between institutions. This allows me to broaden my horizons and understand British culture better.
Students may enjoy a variety of theme nights organised by the Student Union. People in the UK are big partygoers, therefore you’ll see a lot of freshers making acquaintances through events like this. Don’t be afraid you’re not going to fit in, anxiety is very natural; you could find that it’s not all that tough when you take the initiative, put your feet down, and walk out of your comfort zone. There are other events particularly intended for international students, such as International Night.
It is just as important to maintain and deepen friendships as to create new ones. Plan your weekend or vacation activities with your pals. Invite them out for a cup of coffee, a walk, or a simple shopping date. Efforts need to be made for relationships to work. Spend some time with them and do something you’d enjoy, such as movie evenings and a short trip. Being so far away from home is difficult, and I completely understand the negative feelings around it. But, thanks to my good friends, I don’t feel homesick as much when I spend time with them. I am delighted to have them by my side in the lonely days.
However, keep in mind that you should not force yourself into circles that are not meant for you to modify your true nature. Many people are genuinely compatible with you, so don’t hurry into any friendships unless you feel comfortable with their companion. Put on a friendly face, be confident and start meeting new friends!
By Kai Yuan Leong, a BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science student from Malaysia.