From day one, you will meet lots of new people from all different backgrounds and ages. The friends you make at university will go through everything with you; the laughter, the tears, the achievements, the bad cooking, karaoke sessions in someone’s car and even climbing through your flatmates window as they’ve locked themselves out their room (there’s always one!). Friendship groups will make your university experience better, through the ups and downs and some will even end up feeling like family.
When starting university or even when you move into student accommodation, learning everyone’s name will make things a little easier and less awkward (I’m terrible with names, even now in year two!). But it’s really important to remember that everyone is in the same boat as you and will be feeling the exact same way, excited and nervous. So try and support each other in the first few weeks and don’t worry if it takes you a little longer to get your bearings.
My advice when moving into halls is getting to know your neighbours as well as your flatmates, perhaps help them with moving their stuff in, organise going out to get to know each other or organise a dinner whereby everyone brings a dish and you mingle over your favourite foods. As no doubt, they will bring along other people they have met and you may find other people on your course (if you haven’t already).
If you’re deciding to stay at home and commute to ARU, don’t worry, you’ll have lots of opportunities to meet loads of people from events at the Students’ Union and the infamous ice-breakers on your course where you’ll get to know your cohort.
Freshers’ week, run by the SU, is another fantastic opportunity to meet new people and most students will go to Freshers’ events at the university or in the city. However, don’t feel pressured into fitting into the student stereotype, you don’t have to attend all of the Freshers’ events and student nights if you don’t wish to and there will be loads of events happening throughout the week to suit everyone. Freshers’ weeks is also a fantastic opportunity to see what societies and sport teams are available to join at ARU and meet people with similar interests to you.
As you go through your course you will get to know your cohort, and for some courses there will be a lot of you! The friends you meet on your course all have the same goal and have similar interests as you. You’re all in the same boat in regards to your course and workload and can help each other by organising study sessions, sharing exam hints and tips and supporting each other during placements (if your course offers a placement).
My advice is to make the most of the opportunity to meet new people, even if you’re a tad nervous or a little shy. I promise you, the first few people you will meet or even live with in the first year are likely to become good friends throughout your university experience. And although it sounds cliché, but you do make friends for life at university!