Hi there! My name is Alex and I'm currently undertaking my Creative Writing PhD at the University of Lincoln. I'm a big fan of lots of streaming services, books, and am a published poet! I aspire to be a multi-genre,…
Making friends isn’t as easy as it was when you were a kid in primary school, when you could just sit next to someone on the floor and simply ask: “Hey, want to be friends?”
I feel that there can be pressure at uni to make solid friendships as soon as possible, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen. Whether that’s because the people you meet aren’t on your wavelength, or social anxiety impacts your ability to make connections; there are many reasons why people may not find themselves with solid friendships, even significantly into their university experience. This article intends to outline a few ways by which you can make connections at university, even if you’ve been at uni for some time, and to show that it is never too late to make friends.
Societies Aren’t Just For Fresher’s Week
Joining a society, although advertised primarily through Fresher’s Week at the start of term, is something you can do at any point in the year! If you go onto the Student Union website at https://lincolnsu.com/home, go to Services, then A-Z Sports & Societies under Activities, there you can browse all the societies the University has to offer! Each society will have a contact email available for you if you want information, including finding out how to join them! Joining a society means you know for certain that everyone there will have at least one thing in common with you, and odds are that you’ll find you have more and more things in common too!
Most of us at uni will be in a situation where we live with other people, and sometimes they are people we’ve never met before. On the one hand, this can be incredibly daunting, sharing personal spaces with people you don’t know anything about. For some of you, this may make you decide to sequester yourself away and not want to interact, which is perfectly understandable! However, one way to start a conversation that isn’t too overwhelming is simply putting a note under one of your roommate’s doors.
Yes, it’s unorthodox, but with a note, you can get everything you want across to someone without the anxiety of talking right away. You can include a small introduction, your phone number, or social media, and you can explain your anxiety in a legible way, and more often than not, people will be incredibly understanding! Also, doing this one person at a time can be helpful; you don’t have to pressure yourself to make connections with everyone at once, and at a later point you could even have a house-mates group chat together, but it’s important to take your time. From there, you now have a point of contact. Then you can learn more about people, since messaging over text can be so much less nerve-wracking than an awkward stood-up conversation in the kitchen.
When it comes to actually socialising, some suggestions may be having a night in to hang out, ordering in take-aways and watching some films rather than going out if that’s not your speed. Or even going out for a coffee, or to the supermarket together—this is particularly good if you’re having to walk back with heavy shopping, doing it with someone else can make it all the easier! As long as you don’t pressure yourself, and make the promise to yourself to take things at your own pace, things can really work out well!
Friendship and Learning
One place where you are guaranteed to meet new people is through your university course, however admittedly when seminars end it can be difficult to take people aside and start the process of getting to know them past their opinions of Henry V. However, this is where you can start. If you’re listening to someone talk in a seminar and you like what they’re saying, you can make a point of coming to them afterwards and telling them! Or, alternatively, if you like something about someone’s appearance you should let them know too! If they’ve got any cool pin badges, a unique style, something that naturally makes you think “oh that’s cool”, then don’t be afraid to speak out. A compliment like that can make someone’s day, and also be the start of a friendship!
Alternatively . . .
Sometimes, even though you can meet people through societies, your living situation, or your academic life, you may end up just not clicking with these people, and that is okay! If that is the case, and you find yourself talking to someone and you don’t have the same interests, they might know someone else who does! They might not have a great passion for Minecraft or crochet, but they might know someone who does, and you can return the favour!
Making friends can be difficult, but I hope this article shows you that there are so many avenues you can go down to make friends and that it is most certainly NEVER too late!