Starting university is a pretty big deal and we understand that making friends isn't easy for everyone.
But try not to worry about it too much, once you arrive at university everyone will be in the same position...
If you're feeling shy or nervous about making some mates, these tips will help:
- Use social media
It's much easier to speak online rather than face to face, so if you're really dreading it then connect with your flatmates on Facebook before you move! Find your accommodations' page on Facebook and check our the Move In Event where you can meet your neighbours! That way when you get to university you've already talked and it's not as awkward.
- Get involved
Freshers Week is there to welcome everyone to university life, so you'd be a fool not to get involved. During the week there will be LOTS of different things going on, both at uni and with Fresh so try to push yourself out your comfort zone and who knows, you might meet your BFF!
- Join societies
Universities have a huge range of societies for you to join. Whether you're a keen footballer, always wanted to try dancing or you're really into films - you're bound to find something up your street and meet people into the same things as you which breaks the ice quite easily.
- Cook or bake
You might be sharing a kitchen with your flatmates so go into the kitchen when you hear other people in there and cook dinner or bake snacks together. This is a great icebreaker and will make everyone feel a bit more comfortable!
- Play music
Whenever you're in the kitchen, play some music and your flatmates will probably come join you for a chat. Music is a great conversation starter, even if you aren't into the same music. Don't play it too loud though, you don't want to annoy anyone...
- Fake it till' you make it!
Let's face it, a lot of people do. If you aren't the most confident person, just pretend like you are. It might push you out of your comfort zone slightly but it will be worth it in the end when you've made some new friends.
- Meet an old friend
Has someone you know from your hometown got into the same university? Even if you're not the closest of friends, meet up! Seeing a familiar face will make give you more confidence and they can introduce you to their flatmates and you'll meet more people.
- Start conversations
Yes, it's easier to wait to be spoken to but that won't get you anywhere. That doesn't mean walking into a room full of people and being the loudest person there, but just maybe asking your flatmate if they're going out and if you can tag along.
Whatever you do, don't keep yourself in your room as this will only make it harder and could lead to feeling lonely and down. If you need a chat, pop down to the accommodation team, they can provide a cuppa, and sometimes they even have a secret stash of chocolate.
If you're worried that your loneliness might be more serious, then there are many sources of help and support available:
- Nightline is a confidential listening, support and practical information service open at night and run by students for students.
- Students Against Depression is a website offering advice, information, guidance, and resources to those affected by low mood, depression and suicidal thinking.
- Samaritans Helpline is for those who are experiencing high levels of distress. Contact this 24-hour helpline on 08457 909090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd prefer face-to-face support, Samaritans have many branches across the UK, click here to find the branch closest to you.