How to make friends at university

Are you worried about making friends at university? Well here's our guide to how you can do that and make the whole experience a lot more rewarding.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 9th Sep 2021

Attending university and moving away from home for the first time can be both a very exciting and nerve-wracking experience. Yet it's a brand new chapter in your life that opens up a whole bunch of new opportunities, especially to make new friends and go out on some of the best nights you'll ever remember. Or maybe not. Please, drink responsibly. 

University is the place where you'll make so many memories. Yes, there's always exam stress and the strain of being away from friends and loved ones can be tough, but there's so much fun to be had as you learn the streets and places of your new academic home. 

To assist you in making your transition from home life to uni life, we've put together a little bit of a guide on how to go out, make some friends at university and get those good times rolling.



It's important that you make a good impression with your flatmates right from the off! These are the people who you're going to see pretty much every day. Having flat parties is a great way to get to know people and usually leads to a full night out anyway. You're all in this new place together so going out will definitely make for a happier flat and some pretty good stories to share too.

Even doing small things such as offering a cup of tea every once in a while would be appreciated and it opens up opportunities for conversation. Basic manners go a long way when living with new people.



Your uni course

One of the best opportunities to meet new people is via your uni course itself. You already have the fact that you're studying the same subject as something in common so you can branch out of talking points from there. Even if you do end up meeting over a video link, you still have opportunities to meet people. You can give them a message or even start a group chat where you can organise times and places to meet up.

You should definitely suggest going out for some drinks, it's an opportunity to bring people out of their shells more. Plus the closer you are, the more likely you are to get a helping hand with work too.

If you're looking for some inspiration as to where you can go in the new city that you call home then take a look at Freshers Guides for Manchester, Liverpool and more here.



Live Music

Every city has a nightlife and a key part of that is the live music scene where you can go see your favourite bands, DJs and rappers. These also happen to be great social spaces, whether it be in the band beforehand or in the crowd itself. You usually find that it's a room full of like-minded people who are all here in celebration of one thing, so don't be afraid to talk to people.

There are so many iconic venues that you'll find across the UK from Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, Thekla in Bristol (which is a converted boat) and YES in Manchester to The Windmill in Brixton. You can find these buzzing hubs of the community in any place you end up. 

So many of your new favourite bands make their first steps at venues such as these, think of The Leadmill in Sheffield or the Hare and Hounds in Birmingham, the artists you see here may just be festival headliners in a few years.



Following your passions

There's a lot more to you than the course you're on, are you interested in sports or arts? There are so many things to do in the city and you can go out and pursue your interests at will. If you like literature, why not go along to a poetry club? If you're a fan of football then join one of the local teams or get down to the pub and watch the game amongst fellow fans.

There are so many options and so many good opportunities to meet people. If you're going by yourself it can be a daunting thing but there's no shame in it at all, once you make it through the door you've made a huge step and then who knows what could happen. 

You can find plenty of things to do around the city where you live over on our Inspire Me page. 




Societies are another great way to follow your interests or even try some new ones. The best thing being that every other member is a part of your university too. Societies are usually pretty well thought out but if you noticed that there isn't one for one of your interests then why not start it yourself?

Have a go at netball or have a dabble in fine art, the choice is up to you. You do hear stories about the weird initiations that certain societies have but we're sure that you'll survive, it'll all be worth it.



At work 

It's quite likely that you'll have to get a job to support yourself whilst at uni. Prepare for long shifts whilst your boss asks if you can work an extra day even though you already told them that you're in uni that day. It's a part of the process but you'll come to find out a lot about your colleagues and may even become good friends with them.

Especially if you find yourself working in a city centre where there's easy access to bars where you can go after a long shift. Work can be stressful but being friends with people there can make it a lot less painful.

You can find a job via useful sites such as Indeed, Student Job and Reed.



Talk to your neighbours

It's likely that you'll be surrounded by other flats in your halls. When you're out and about there's no problem in saying hi to people, especially if you notice something that you might have in common. There may also be a common area in your halls where you can go to relax and meet some new people.

We're not saying that you have to chat to every single person you meet by the bins but a quick hello can sometimes lead to future friendship.

There may be times at university where you feel alone and unable to connect with people. It's a more popular occurrence than you might think but there are resources you can use to get help should you need it. You can find support at:

- Samaritans

- Student Minds

- Mind

- On-campus counselling 

- The NHS website



Fancy looking for somewhere to go with your ned friends? Take a look at our Clubs page. If you're looking for live music then our Gigs page is for you.


 Header image credit: YES Manchester (Facebook)