Students living at home!

Results day is drawing nearer, and for any students who were like me, with it comes the nagging fear… It’s not long until I start university, what if no one likes me, what if I hate it.. And for students exactly like me, who will be living at home, I expect the biggest worry is – will I make friends or will I be alone? 

With first hand experience of this, let me tell you – there is no need to worry!!! Of course you will make friends, you will fit in fine, and you will LOVE it! Promise ☺️

Here are some tips for making friends at uni when you live at home! 

1. On your first day, when you want to be shy and awkward, don’t be! Go straight up to people on your course, introduce yourself and get chatting.. The more people you talk to, the more likely you are to make new friends, and lots of them! I realise for some people this may sound difficult, and I myself am quite shy so I understand to some people that, that can be a bit daunting, but I promise you it’s entirely worth it!! 

2. Join all the UEA Facebook pages and groups you can find. They’ll be ones for new students, and people often post on there to introduce themselves and try and find other people on their courses or living in their accommodation. Don’t let this scare you away, use it to your advantage! If you see someone post about doing the same course as you, get chatting, say hello! Making friends before you even get there will make the experience seem much less scary. Do the same with people you see saying they live at home.. If you can find others in the same situation as you, it will give you something to bond over, in the same way that people who live together bond. It doesn’t matter if these people don’t do the same course as you, you can have as many different and diverse friends as you want at university! I’ll keep an eye out for these pages I mentioned and post the link on here if I find any!!

3. Last year when I started, the university offered a small open day, the week before I started uni, for students living at home. I can’t recommend enough going if there is one available (again I will have a look and see if I can find out for you guys!!) as its really nice to be able to meet other students from the area who will be living at home. For me it was really good as I met someone on my course, so I was able to talk to him about what to expect, and we all exchanged numbers and messaged each other. It was nice to have others to talk to in the same situation as me! 

4. Join as many clubs and societies as you can. I can’t emphasise this one enough!! Definitely join the society that is related to your course, as this will give you a chance to meet people from your course who you haven’t yet spoke to. Joining other clubs or societies that interest you as well is a great way to meet people. You know immediately that you have something in common with them! It gives you something to talk about and bond over. By joining these clubs you’ll meet people from all over the university, and it will allow you to feel like you fit in more as you will know all sorts of people as opposed to just a couple of people from your course! 

5. For the first couple of weeks, don’t hide away, or focus on getting all your work done (make sure you do this too! I just mean don’t immediately hide in the library from day 1!). There are certain areas you can go to talk to people and socialise. For instance the Julian Study Centre has a cafe and comfy seating. There are sofas in the Elizabeth Fry building and seating areas in the Lawrence Stenhouse foyer. These I know about because that’s where a lot of my lectures take place and the LSB is the Psychology base, but they have these areas all over. Congregate with people from your course there! This will give you a chance to get to know them outside of lectures and seminars. You don’t have to do this just at the start of the year, when you’ve got some spare time and aren’t snowed under with work, do it all year round! A lot of people on my course used to spend time in the Elizabeth Fry building between lectures, so I knew that if I went in there, there was likely to be someone I could talk to and get to know! 

6. Go to Freshers events! Talk to people on the first few days about which events they’re going to, and if you click with this person, ask them to meet you there, so you’ll have someone you know! If you get talking to any people before you go, ask which events they’re planning to go and see if they are happy for you to join them. I know how scary it can be wanting to go to these events but worrying you won’t know anyone, but don’t let that stop you! It’s a great place to meet all sorts of people and to make great memories. You’ll be able to bond with your new friends and feel closer to them. People at university are lovely and are always willing to meet new people. I booked a ticket to an event that none of the friends I had made were going to. My friends flatmate invited me to come along with her in her second sentence to me – that’s how friendly people are!! 

7. Don’t let anyone tell you that it will hard going to university and living at home. It is only as hard as you make it. If you’re prepared to get out there and chat to people, you’ll soon find you make friends quickly and enjoy your time!! No one can tell you that you won’t enjoy it, especially if they haven’t gone to uni and lived at home themselves! Don’t let them ruin your fun with negativity before you even get there! 

8. Try to get to know people. This sounds silly and unnecessary, but by actually taking the time to try and connect with people you talk to, instead of just making superficial conversation, you’ll be surprised by how much quicker you can bond with someone! 

9. Don’t rush home after every lecture. Talk to the people on your course, walk with them, if they are staying on campus, stay with them! Ask to go for a coffee or a drink in unio, blend or one of the bars. Making the effort will help you feel that you fit in more with your peers! 😊

10. Make the effort and suggest to do things with your new friends! Even if you’re shy and feel awkward suggesting something, by doing so people will see that you are keen to spend time with them and will respond to this! 

I know to people that very confident this can seem very daunting, but I promise you that I’m not overly confident either! I was so scared in the weeks leading up to uni, I was absolutely dreading it! But you do make friends quickly and easily and you will fit in straight away. Be brave and talk to people and you’ll be loving your new uni life in no time! 

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