Fail-safe ways to make new best friends at university
Making friends is a nerve wracking prospect for anyone moving abroad.
Chiedza is from Zimbabwe and has been studying Engineering in INTO Queen’s University Belfast since the start of 2016.
Here she outlines her top tips for buddying up in a brand new environment – get out there and make lifelong connections!
You have probably heard this a thousand times already but it is very true. Having friends is all about quality, not quantity.
Being yourself will mean you will meet people that like you for who you are, so you will make friends that fully understand and accept you.
Friends should make you happier and how can you ever be happy if the people around you do not appreciate the beautiful, unique soul you have?
Sign up for events and activities
It’s most likely that you’ll meet forever friends attending at social activities that you love, as they may love that same thing too.
This will definitely give you something to talk about and keep the conversation going, as well as finding friends with others you’re in sync with.
Understand that everyone is different and that is ok
Being different can make friendships interesting.
Understanding that will help you feel at home faster, and in accepting your differences you will accepted quickly by new friends too.
Don’t be shy
Everyone is in the same boat. You are all new and everyone is most probably also wondering what is going on.
Making friends is harder than it was in school, but starting with a hello to classmates is a good start.
Respect others and what they believe in
While it’s ok to be yourself, also make sure that you do keep in mind what you say to others so you don’t hurt another person’s feelings.
Being rude or making fun of someone has never been okay, and if you make that mistake (like we all do sometimes, most times unknowingly), apologising is a good way to start a new leaf and strengthen friendships.
Get some time to self-reflect
Have some “me time” from time to time.
Staying true to who you are may require some time alone to rewind and relax.
That way you will not feel burnt out or overworked, and you’ll always be patient enough to get good friends as this can take time.
Take it easy
Real friendships may take time to build, so never feel under pressure to make friends super-quick. This will always come along in due course.
Don’t rush anything or get upset if it takes too long. Its normal, but time will pass and true friends will come.
Living in student accommodation
No one wants to be enemies with their flatmates, so try to get used to people’s personal habits.
Living in student accommodation can be a quick way to get to know people and to feel at home faster.
Thanks to Chiedza for the tip-offs! Do you have any to add in the comments?
Discover more advice on making new friends abroad in our first month studying in the UK, or check out our tips on keeping cross-continent relationships alive.