Starting university - how to make friends and not alienate people!

4 December 2020

The first day of university looming, and there will be many students worrying about lectures, textbooks, cooking and of course, making friends. Ayesha, one of our Communications and Projects Advisers, is here to help!


Stepping into a new environment can be a scary thing, as you attempt to make some great friends to share some amazing experiences with. But remember, making friends really can be as easy as asking somebody if they know what the lecturer meant by said statement in your online seminar to if they'd like to join you for an online study session after class. It’s also important to not push the boundaries too far and alienate people – a balanced approach and an open mind is all you need! Remember to observe guidelines on social distancing and mixing with others indoors and outdoors by staying up to date with Government guidance. 

Making friends in societies

There will be many opportunities to make friends at university and one of the best ways to meet new people is by joining clubs and societies – everything from Judo to Drama and Entrepreneurs to Film. The online socials, events and digital meetings will keep you in regular contact with other students, allowing friendships to naturally form.

Making friends in halls 

Living in halls can be an isolating experience in the first few weeks, so my advice would be to invest in a door stop. This will allow you to be open and sociable with your flat/housemates – and they’re more likely to stop for a chat if they see an open door!

Halls of residence (and campus in general) all have a lot communal areas where you can chill out with a sandwich and a coffee, as you watch the world go by. Spending time in these areas means you’ll be meeting a lot of new people and make plenty of friends.

The University experience is more than your degree

Although the main purpose of university is to obtain a degree, remember that it is so much more than that too. The next 3/4 years will become a personal adventure of making life long memories, so don’t constantly tuck yourself away in the library, as you’ll miss out on some valuable socialising time.

Make friends in abundance...

Try not to put all your eggs in one (friendship) basket. We’ve all been there and it hurts – I promise you this time will be no different.  As much as you adore your first set of friends, I can almost guarantee that they won’t be the ones in your group graduation selfie! Make friends and make them in abundance, because you’ll always need other friends to fall back on if something goes wrong.

Just remember, everyone is as scared as you are – campus and studying remotely can all be intimidating to begin with. Just be yourself, relax, be friendly and the Facebook requests will start rolling in!

Last revised: 8 September 2021

Ayesha Khan, UCL alumna