Written by Imogen Byers
BA (Hons) Communication & Media
So you’ve just arrived at uni, and you’re thrown into your first “proper” session of work, where it feels more like school in a classroom with uncomfortable chairs and a whiteboard at the head of the class. Around the room you are surrounded with unfamiliar faces and you have no idea where to sit, who you might get along with and exactly how these ‘seminar’ things are meant to work. Here are a few tips in how to make friends with your coursemates and how to make the most out of seminars to meet new people.
- Try to remember people’s’ names. Chances are when you have your first session, your seminar leader will make you do a really awkward “around the room with your name and interesting fact about you” game. Make sure you pay attention and listen to what people say. Don’t be too skeptical and judge as no doubt, everyone will be as nervous and feel as cringey doing it as you do. In addition to this, don’t freak out about what are going to say either: try to talk about something casual that gives an insight into what kind of person you are without being big-headed and arrogant. If you like animals for example, maybe say what kind of pets you have. Famous people you might have met is also quite a safe option.
- Smile at people and ask questions. I’m not suggesting you quiz them in an interview-like scenario but if you get the chance to chat, try to find out more about them and what makes them “tick”. Most people have one thing that they are really passionate towards and enjoy talking about. From what you gauge from the conversation, you can work out if you have much in common and whether you’d enjoy doing the same sorts of things.
- Try and get groups together to go to freshers events you want to go to! Chances are some people in your seminar group won’t get on with people in their flat, live at home or simply not have other people they can go to events with. Getting a group of people together who are interested is a good way to socialise outside of the seminar session without the pressure of being one-on-one and having to make forced conversation. Freshers weeks will have lots of different opportunities for you to get involved with different things so grab a few of your seminar gang and get them to go with you. It is most likely that they will appreciate the offer of company and if you then find out that your not destined to be friends, it is not hard to fade out and keep busy with different things.
- Last but definitely not least, don’t judge on appearances and try to chat to everyone, even if you think that they may not be ‘your type of person’. Remember your whole seminar group is in the same boat, not knowing anyone and nervous about the year ahead. The best impression you can give is to be a friendly face for anyone who needs it!
Do you have anymore tips on how to make friends at uni, or maybe any experiences you’d like to share? Please get writing in the comments below!