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Residential Life

An introvert's guide to making friends at uni!

By Adrian 28 Sep 2022

For some people, walking into a room full of strangers and coming out with 10 friends comes as second nature...

For others, not so much.

If you're more of the shy type, making friends in your first couple of weeks isn't going to be easy but it's important that you try because this will make it even more enjoyable.

When you arrive at university, try these and see how you get on:

Use social media
It's a bit easier to introduce yourself online than walking up to a group of people and saying hello. Try to find your course or accommodation pages/groups on Facebook or Twitter (these days X...) before you move in.

Don't stay in your room
This doesn't mean you have to go down the corridor knocking on everyone's door. It's little things like cooking your dinner when you hear other people in the kitchen or tagging your flatmates in the memes on Instagram.

Be a good person
You don't need to be the loudest person in the room to make friends, just be a good listener, give thoughtful advice and be there for people - that's way more valuable in the long run. 

Play some music
Going to make some food in the kitchen? Waiting in the laundry room for your washing cycle to finish? Play some music and even if people don't have the same taste in music as you it's a great conversation starter.

Be yourself
Don't pretend to be something or someone you're not because you'll have to keep up an act that doesn't come naturally to you. By discussing your hobbies and interests you'll meet a lot more like-minded people.

Don't be awkward
Ending a conversation can be difficult so try end with something that means you'll stay in touch so you leave a good impression. If you suggested a film night to your friend, say "Let me know if you want to watch on Friday, message me or something?"

Stay strong
Missing family and friends is completely normal - it happens. This is why getting involved in clubs/societies is great because it takes your mind off it and you could meet your new best friends and bond over similar interests. 

Feeling nervous is completely normal and everyone will be in the same boat, but try to stop those nerves so that you don't ruin this amazing experience. Enjoy! 

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Adrian is a medical doctor, the Student Health & Wellbeing Manager at the University of London and the Warden of Connaught Hall, where he has lived for more than 25 years.
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