charlotte howard

Music Business and Media BA(Hons) student on settling in at uni and making friends 

Charlotte Howard on how to give yourself the best start at university.

Find out about studying Music Business and Media BA(Hons) at Brighton.

Settling in at uni and making friends

Whether you’re about to start studying in another country, across the country or just a few hours from home, having to pack your entire life into the back of a parent’s car and hug your closest friend’s goodbye can be difficult. I know that when I first found out I would be studying in Brighton, one of my biggest initial worries was that I’d struggle to find like-minded people and make friendships that would feel even half as real as the ones I already had back home.  

“Having made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t hold back from finding my people, I made sure I did. Now, just over a year later, I’m living with some of my best friends and feel that I’ve made friendships that will last a lifetime. So, if you’re looking for advice on how to find those magical friends that will make university feel a little more like home, keep reading.  

Get involved in group chats on social media  

“If you’re applying to live in student accommodation, you should be offered a place by July or August, depending on whether your offer is unconditional or not. When this happens, you’ll get invited to join a Facebook group for your specific halls of residence. During this time, you’ll have the opportunity to reach out to other students and find out who your flat mates will be. This can be a really useful, non-intimidating way to begin introducing yourself and initiating conversations with other students.  

Make an effort to get to know your flat mates

“Once the day arrives and you’ve finished unloading the car and unpacking in your new room, it’s important to introduce yourself to the other students that you’ll be living with for the next year. I understand that this can often feel quite overwhelming, but anything as small as leaving your door open can make all the difference. Leaving your door open invites the opportunity to make small talk with your flat mates and will almost certainly help you to come across as friendly and approachable. Making the effort to step outside of your room and socialise with your flat mates as a group is also an important step towards making friendships. Whilst you may not find a best friend or soulmate in any of your flat mates, there’s certainly no harm in getting to know them.  

Actually show up to your first week on campus

“Having to go on campus for the first time is usually terrifying. You’re overwhelmed by the sheer scale and name of each building, worried you’ll end up walking into the wrong room or that you’ll be the only one sat by yourself. However, the truth is that everyone else is just as terrified as you are. In all honesty, I genuinely contemplated not showing up to my first week on campus. Reading my timetable filled me with dread and I couldn’t help but overthink ridiculous, worst-case scenarios over and over inside of my head. Thankfully, I did show up, and I actually met two of my closest friends (I’m even living with one of them now).  

My time spent on campus during first year taught me how to read academic text and reference my work properly, but the most valuable lesson I learnt was that almost everyone was just as eager to meet new people and embrace this new chapter within each of our lives. So even if you do end up walking into the wrong room, don’t worry. You’ll still meet your people and in a years’ time you’ll even look back and laugh.


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