Updated: Sep 25
Alternative Ways For You to Make Friends at University
3. Join a Random Society or Start One of Your Own
What's The Best Way To Make Friends At Uni?
University is a great place to meet new people and make friends for the rest of your life. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that it's probably the most common way adults claim to have met their best friend(s). But if you're a fresher, and you're probably feeling overwhelmed and intimidated starting your new life on campus, how do you go about breaking the ice and getting to talk to people you don't know?
Most university websites will tell you to get involved during Freshers Week, join as many societies as you can, wedge your door open when you first arrive, and just talk to people. All good ideas. But here are some original and quirky ways to make friends at university, so if you're up for a more adventurous approach, whether you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert, give these a try.
1. Start A Flash Mob
Try organising a flash mob if you're feeling adventurous and want to make a splash on campus? You've probably seen them in Glee or Friends with Benefits, where a group of people in a public place randomly start doing a choreographed dance or breaking into song from a musical. Invite people to join your flash mob and rehearse beforehand using social media or flyers. You're bound to get noticed and make new friends with the type of people who share your passion for having fun.
2. Host A Themed Party
Hosting a themed party in your halls of residence or flat is another way to make friends at university. Pick a theme you like, such as superheroes, Star Wars characters, Harry Potter or anything else that interests you. Then decorate your place and invite neighbours, classmates or anyone you want to get to know better. Ask them to bring snacks or drinks to share. Themed parties are a great way to show your personality and have fun with potential friends.
3. Join a Random Society or Start One of Your Own
If you want to meet people with different hobbies and interests to you, join a random society, or better still, start your own. Most universities have a wide range of societies and clubs that cater to a variety of passions and causes. Browse the list of societies and choose one that sounds interesting or unusual. It's a chance to learn something new and get to know people with a passion for what they do. Or start your own club or activity about something you're passionate about and apply to the Students' Union for funding if it doesn't already exist.
4. Start A Podcast
Why not start a podcast if you have something to say and want to share it with the world? Podcasts are a convenient and engaging way to learn new things, share opinions and connect with others. Pick a topic you like and talk about it. Many students create and listen to podcasts on a variety of topics, including education, music, movies, sports, politics, video games, beauty products or anything else that interests you. It's a great way to express yourself creatively, and you can make friends with people who are listeners or participants in your podcast.
If you need some inspiration, check out the following popular student podcasts:
Student Pages Podcast which champions creativity on student life, music and entertainment;
Start-Up Student Podcast for students who want to be their own boss;
The Student Lawyer Podcast for career advice and guidance;
The Engineering Student Experience Podcast explores topics relevant to current and future engineering students through conversations with practicing engineers, engineering faculty, and engineering students;
Student Housing Matters Podcast to share ideas and insights about how your student housing can do things beyond simply housing.
5. Volunteer For A Good Cause
Volunteering your time and/or skills is a great way to help others in need. Try inquiring if a local animal rescue needs help cleaning out cages, or exercising the pets. You could prepare food or serve regularly at a soup kitchen, charity shop or give out flyers for a charity or environmental organisation. It's a great way to meet people who care about the same issues as you, and bond over your shared values and experiences. Volunteering is also considered a great asset for your CV and gives you an edge in the job market, as well as being an ice-breaker / conversation starter at an interview. Speaking of which, languages are also a great asset to have, so you could also volunteer your time to teach any language you speak, and learn one in return.
These are just some of the more unusual ways to make friends at university. Of course, there are plenty of other ways to meet new people and have fun at university, in addition to the usual Freshers' Week, societies and, of course, classmates. The most important thing is to be open to new opportunities. If you struggled at school, were bullied or weren't part of the 'popular' crowd, this is your chance to start again and be who you want to be. You never know who your next best friend might be.
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