How to make friends at uni in your new student accommodation
By Rebecca Maher on July 4th, 2023
Thinking ahead about moving into your student accommodation and feeling a little anxious to make friends? Don’t worry, our guest blogger and Newcastle resident Charlotte has provided the best advice to help you in this week’s blog. Take a look!
It’s finally move-in day, your family is with you as you unpack your room, you all went out for a nice meal together, and now they’ve left. So, what’s next? Moving into student halls for the first time can be an exciting albeit daunting experience, especially if you’re moving into a new town, city or even country! Personally, I have had the experience of moving into a new flat with new flatmates three times across my undergraduate and postgraduate life, so in this blog, I will share with you my top tips on how to make friends at uni in your new accommodation.
When you first move into your flat (especially if you’re more introverted), it can be tempting to chill in your room all day when you’re not in university for activities or events. However, I would argue that it is difficult to make friends when you’re not seeing them. This is why I highly recommend hanging out in the communal kitchen especially on move-in week. That way, you’ll be able to spot your flatmates when they move-in. This was a big part of how I got really close with my flatmates and their families in my first year of university. Don’t be shy to be the first person to say hello. Remember, they are probably feeling all the nerves that you are feeling too! Also, don’t worry if things feel awkward at first, it’s totally normal and part of the process.
Downing Students’ accommodations usually has a big welcome party at the beginning of the academic year, typically the week before term officially starts. This is a great opportunity to make plans with your flatmates and a great way to make friends at uni with people from outside your flat. Kill two birds with one stone – get closer to your flatmates and make even more new friends! These parties typically have free food and games, and everyone there is always down for a chat. If you miss the welcome party, don’t worry, Downing students does multiple events every month that you can participate in. For example, some of my favourites have been Christmas bauble decorating, pumpkin carving and flowerpot painting. These events in my opinion, are on a slightly smaller scale but provide the perfect backdrop for great conversations. I know some people may not enjoy the commotion that accompanies a large party, so these events are great for you!
My final tip for you is to not force the process, take your time and let nature run its course. Be friendly and chat to people you meet in the lift, the people working in reception, the people you bump into at the common room or the gym. All these are great chances to make friends. Again, I have to reiterate that most people moving into accommodation likely don’t know anyone so you’re all on the same boat. Just be kind and be brave to start conversations.
Well, this has been my top 3 tips on how to make friends at uni accommodation. I can say with absolute confidence that these three tips are ones that I use every year and it has not failed me yet! Trust and enjoy the process, you’ll smash it!