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Friends laughing in the university cafe

Making friends in first year

One of the biggest worries for many students starting university is making friends in their first year. Starting university this September may look slightly different, however this doesn’t need to affect getting to know other students and forming friendships. Try to remember that everyone is in the same boat and has the same concerns when starting the term. Here’s some helpful tips on how I made friends during my first year.  

* Join Facebook and Whatsapp groups – This isn’t mandatory; however, it certainly helps ease some nerves before moving in and starting your course. The University usually set up social groups for your selected accommodation so you can find your housemates prior to moving in and start chatting to each other. Likewise, through University ‘Freshers Week’ Facebook pages, many students like to post which course they are studying, to form Whatsapp groups with their future course-mates.  

* Freshers Week – It may not be the usual events this year, but the University will definitely be holding alternative social events to encourage students to mingle and get to know each other. If you’re feeling slightly nervous about attending or tired from the social event the evening before, I’d strongly advise going along to as many events as you can, as it’s a great opportunity to meet students from other accommodation, courses and also other year groups.  

* Socialising with housemates – Whether you’re living in halls or private accommodation, try getting to know your housemates and you may form a really close-knit group of friends. Small things such as leaving your door open whilst you’re in your room, gives others the opportunity to walk past and have a quick chat. Shared communal areas such as the kitchen or living room are also spaces in halls or housing where students will spend most of their free time. Hang out in these communal areas more frequently and you’ll notice you bump into your housemates more often. I also really enjoyed arranging my meal times with my flatmates, so we could all sit and eat together in the evenings or on weekends.  

* Join a society – Brighton has over 100 societies for you to join, with so many different interests to choose from. You needn’t have had previous experience in the subject or sport to join, as all abilities are welcome. I signed up to the Boxing Society without even having touched a pair of gloves before! It was a great way to push myself out of my comfort zone each week and also meet students who I wouldn’t have crossed paths with otherwise. We met for weekly training sessions and also held a social each week to hang out together. I would definitely recommend trying something new as you’ll surprise yourself by how much you enjoy it.  

* Get a student job – If you need some extra money whilst studying there’s will be opportunities to gain a job within the university as a student. This could be a role in the student bar, cafeteria or as a Student Ambassador. I became a Student Ambassador during my second year and wish I had done it sooner. Not only is it flexible around your studies but it’s really fun to work with other students and also form friendships through the job. Working alongside students will not only enable you to mix with other students but also gain a little extra money along the way. 

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independent livingPreparing for universityTop tips

Elizabeth Taylor • 10th September 2020


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