Are you finding it hard to make friends at university? No friends at uni in your second year? That’s totally normal, not everyone finds it easy to make friends. No matter what stage you are in your studies, it is never too late to make new friends in university and/ or outside of it. So, if you want the best tips for making friends at uni then continue reading.
When you first start university, it can be difficult to make friends. Everyone else is in the same boat as you, nervous and unsure. But keep in mind that everyone is there to make new friends. So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and begin interacting with others. As they say, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.
Students who feel a sense of belonging at university, according to recent research by the Higher Education Policy Institute, are more likely to achieve higher grades.
As a result, it is clear that making friends and connecting with others is critical for both academic success and overall well-being. Not only that, but feeling well-connected to other people promotes positive mental health, and physical health and gives life meaning.
New research by the World Economic Forum into human connection suggests that emotional conversations, support, positive vibes, and affirmations can all help to enhance our mental health.
This post is all about the best ways to make friends at university.
Why Connecting with Others is Important at Uni
Before we get into my 11 best tips for making friends at uni and connecting, let’s look at why being involved with others and building a friendship group can not only make you feel good but can also improve your health and overall well-being.
Making friends is crucial for your overall well-being because:
1) Having a group of friends or someone you connect with can provide emotional support
2) When you connect with others it can boost your mood according to recent research by the University of Oxford
3) Meeting new friends can increase your sense of belonging
4) Connecting with others gives you a sense of social identity
5) Friendships can provide opportunities for personal growth
6) Good friendships can help protect your mental health
7) Strong social connections are linked to satisfaction with life overall
8) People with strong social connections are also more likely to experience positive emotions
9) Connecting with others can lead to better physical health
10) Finally, friendships just make life more fun!
So there are lots of good reasons to make an effort to connect with others at university. To find out more head over to Why Is Student Well-being Important? 5 Best Ways to Get Energised!
11 Best Tips for Making Friends at Uni
If you’re finding it hard to make friends, here are 11 tips for making friends at uni that might help:
1. Get involved in extracurricular activities
One of the best ways to meet people with similar interests to you is to get involved in extracurricular activities. There are all sorts of clubs and social orders that you can just connect with, so there’s bound to be something that takes your favor. Why not try a couple of diverse things and see which ones you like the best?
Remember: If you don’t like it, you can just quit it and try something else.
2. Attend social events
Most universities will have plenty of social events going on throughout the year. These are great opportunities to meet new people in a relaxed and fun environment. From pub crawls to fancy dress parties, there’s sure to be something that piques your interest.
Freshers week is a great time to get involved, as there are usually lots of events happening then to help you settle into university life. Some other popular student events include sports tournaments, charity fundraisers, and comedy nights.
3. Get a part-time job
Working alongside someone can be a great way to get to know them better. It’s also a great way to make some extra money! Why not look for part-time work in one of your campus bars or cafes? You can find student jobs online at websites like Indeed, IndeedFlex (I recommend this one), or CareerBuilder.
Some great jobs for students where you will meet a new circle of friends include connecting with your colleagues doing bar work, catering, retail, office work, and admin.
4. Join a club or society
If you’re passionate about something, there’s sure to be a club or society for it at your university. From Harry Potter fan clubs to football teams, there are all sorts of different groups you can join.
There’s a wide range of activities you can get involved in which include: The types of clubs you could spark up new conversations and begin to widen your circle of friends include: academic, arts and culture political, religious, and special interest clubs.
If you don’t feel like joining an organised club then just try simply hanging out! Some examples of where you go on your own and begin making new friends at University are places like the library, the gym, study spaces on campus, or a local coffee shop.
5. Make an effort with your flatmates
If you’re living in halls, then you’ll already have a group of people that you can get to know better. Why not invite them round for a film night or cook them dinner? Getting to know your flatmates is a great way to feel more at home on campus.
Maybe you could suggest doing a group project together or organising a night out. If you are feeling like showing off your culinary skills, maybe even invite everyone around for a meal or arrange a fuddle ( everyone brings one dish ).
You can guarantee that many others will be feeling just as nervous and shy as you. So be friendly and get stuck in!
6. Get involved in your student union
Your student union is there to represent you and make sure your time at university is the best it can be.
They run loads of different campaigns and activities throughout the year which are great for getting involved in and meeting new friends with similar interests to you.
You can find out about what’s happening in your student union by checking out their website or looking at posters around campus.
If you’re interested in student politics, then there are loads of ways to get involved on campus. You could join your Students’ Union, stand for election or help out with campaigns. Getting involved is a great way to meet new people and make friends.
7. Attend lectures and seminars
Lectures and seminars are great places to meet people that share your interests. Why not sit with someone new each week and strike up a conversation?
You never know, you might make a new friend AND learn something new.
8. Go to office hours
Office hours are a great opportunity to get to know your professors and build relationships with them. Office hours essentially are open-door policy times where professors invite students to come in and ask questions, get help or just chat.
Going to office hours can not only help you better understand the material but also give you a chance to get to know your professor as a person. You may find that they are really interesting and easy to talk to!
9. Work on group projects
Group projects are a necessary evil of university life, trust me I know. But they’re also a great opportunity to get to know your fellow students. Why not make the most of it and use the project as a chance to bond with your group members?
Some group projects can even be fun! When you attend a group project meeting, try to be positive and get involved in the discussion. Bring your best self and use it as an opportunity to show off your great personality.
10. Get involved in your course!
If you want to make friends who share your interests, then getting involved in your course is a great way to do it.
Why not join a study group or sign up for an extracurricular activity related to your subject? You could also get involved with student media or become a student ambassador.
Find out more about doing this by speaking to your Student Union.
11. Be Yourself!
When you are being your authentic self, you will attach people who are more like you. After all, people want to be friends with others who are more like them, no one wants to go through this world alone, and having friends who are in the same social circles as you, will make you included like you’ve found your ‘tribe’.
Traps to avoid falling into when making friends at university:
- Hanging out with a ‘bad crowd’ – yeah I’m sure your parents warned you about this when you were in high school but it applies to college and university life too.
- Being a pushover or a doormat – don’t let people, including your friends, treat you this way. You deserve better and if they do then you need to go make better friends – period!
- Desperately seeking other people’s approval to your own detriment – this is a big no-no, for obvious reasons. Avoid ‘toxic friendships’ like a plague. Being friends with people like those will damage your mental health and well-being.
Commonly asked questions about how to make friends at university:
Is it normal to have no friends?
If you’re not making friends at uni or at all, that is normal. Some people are just shy or some people may think that their childhood friend is enough for them so they don’t need any more friends or any ‘new’ friends. If you intend on making no friends at uni, then you’d be missing out on a lot of positive experiences that university friendships have to offer you. To anyone asking how hard is it to make friends at university – Just follow the tips in this article. I’ve got you covered!
How do mature students make friends?
Making friends is a transferable skill, once you know how to make friends with people who are not mature students, you can apply the exact same tips to people who are. I was a mature student when I first went to University. My biggest worry was that I would be the oldest in my class and because of that, I wouldn’t make any friends. When I got there, I found out I was worried about nothing. I made a few good friends with other students on my course a few outside my course, and 3 years after graduating we are still good friends. We still group video chat and go out for dinner regularly – even with our busy lives we still make time for each other.
How do I make friends at uni without drinking?
If you’re not a big drinker but you still want to make friends at uni without going out clubbing, then you need to do proactive activities that promote building healthy friendships such as helping your flatmate move, putting a door stomp at your door and leaving it open (while your there- obviously!) for people to feel welcome to stop by and say hello or join a sports club/ go to the gym, as athletes and gym lovers are careful about the amount of alcohol they put in their body, they are disciplined- the fact that they bother to go to the gym frequently should tell you that.
How do you meet new people?
The 11 tips on how to make friends and why connecting with others are important. As well as give you examples of places to meet new people such as joining a club or a society. It is important, especially if you are an international student to meet new people outside of your culture to gain a broader understanding of other people’s cultures and life in general. It’s a part of personal growth and development.
How do I stop feeling lonely at uni?
Loneliness is a normal emotion that everyone feels at some point in their lives. You could be surrounded by other people and still feel lonely. The best way to stop feeling lonely is to get involved with your University’s programs. Attend mixers and other events they put on, this is a great way to meet new people and a wonderful opportunity to practice making new friends, or at the very least you could end up having friendly acquaintances to hang out with. Remember, not everyone has to be your friend, and that’s okay.
If you’re wondering how to make friends in university without living in campus or making friends at uni when living alone. A student weighs in…
Final thoughts on tips for making friends at uni…
So to sum up, it’s never too late to make new friends. Connecting with others is important at uni because it can help a student’s academic success, make friends, and get involved on campus. Give some of my best tips for making friends at uni a try and see how they work for you!
The next time you’re having trouble making friends at uni, stop by my site. I don’t yet have a making friends at uni blog category, but don’t forget to get check out my other helpful blog articles to help you navigate student life like a pro!
Let’s finish with a wonderful quote by Aristotle-
This post was all about tips for making friends at uni if you’re worried about making friends at uni.
Related articles with tips for making friends at uni:
- Why Is Student Wellbeing Important? 5 Ways To Get Energised!
- Why Is Student Networking Important? 10 Best Tips For Success
- 10 Benefits Of Student Volunteering That Will Help You Stand Out
Other external resources you might find helpful on how to make friends at University (UK) / College (USA):
(Please note these links will take you to 3rd party sites – I link to sites I trust, sites that have helped me when I was a student)
- Savethestudent.org – How to make friends at university
- Collegiate-ac.com – 10 tips for making friends at university
- Quora.com – How do I make friends at university?
- bysophialee.com – 11 Tips for Making Friends in College Every Student Should Do