Are you finding it difficult to make friends at university? Don’t worry about it, there are hundreds if not thousands of people in the same boat out there who are finding it difficult as well! Not everyone can find a best friend within the first couple weeks of being at university.
Before reading this article consider whether you have followed our friend making tips: Tips on How to Make Friends at University, Tips for General University Student Life and Freshers’ Week Tips for Students; if not it is not too late to start! If you feel you are still struggling or the articles are not relevant to you then read on.
Things to Consider
There may be a few reasons why you are finding it difficult to make friends at university, these could be because…
- You are unhappy with where you live
- You are unable to get a good night sleep
- You feel homesick or are missing friends and family.
- You are finding your course too difficult
- Your course was not what you expected it to be.
- You don’t get along with your room or flat mates.
- You are finding it difficult living alone.
- You miss a girl/boyfriend at home.
- You were ill or missed Freshers’ Week
- You don’t enjoy going out and getting drunk or clubbing.
- You are shy.
- People complain about your hygiene
While some of these are definitely things that can be resolved, some of them are more difficult.
Resolving the Problems
If you are unhappy with where you live, unable to get a good night sleep or don’t get on with your room/flat mates then you can ask your university if they are able to move you somewhere else (if you live in university accommodation that is). Often there will be rooms free in other halls of residence of flat complexes they can put you in. However they will often ask you to wait a few weeks before deciding this, giving you enough time to find out whether you just haven’t broken the ice with your neighbours yet or whether you truly are incompatible.
If you missed Freshers’ Week or don’t enjoy going out and getting drunk or clubbing there are many other ways to meet new people at university, most will have dozens of societies, activities and sports clubs you can join, and these are a great way to meet new people, even if they are just day trips or “Give it a Go” events.
If you are not enjoying your course or finding it too difficult you need to get in contact with your personal tutor, together you can both decide whether the course is appropriate for you. Some courses will be quite boring to start with to ensure everyone is at the same start point! My course didn’t start to get really interesting until the second year! If the course is too difficult for you, then it may well be worth sticking out for the year or seeing if you can get transferred to a similar course you will find easier at the same university. If you are doing a dual honours course you may be able to drop part of it, or if you are doing Medicine or Dentistry you can join the Biomedical Department etc. If worst comes to worst you may decide university is not right for you at all, in which case make sure you discuss it with your personal tutor, parents and university careers people.
If you are feeling homesick or lonely at university, missing a friend, girlfriend, boyfriend or family, then consider getting Skype to help talk to them – also try and get out and talk to your flat mates, neighbours and course friends more or join a club of some kind.
If you are finding it difficult to live alone then try cooking with someone and share the cooking load, try using a planner to work out when you have to do things more and stick to a timetable. It can be difficult to start with especially if you have been chucked into the self catered deep end straight from school! Catered halls are a good way of doing it in 2 stages – living alone then cooking alone!
If you are shy you will have to try and fight it, clubs and sports are a good way of doing this, find people with similar taste to you, even the shyest person can become a chatterbox around the right company.
If multiple people complain about your hygiene, even if they appear to be joking, it is probably something you should take on board! Take a daily shower in the morning, brush your teeth at least twice a day and put on deodorant to ensure you smell clean! A good way to test if your teeth are clean is to lick your arm, wait a few seconds and then sniff! What you smell is what everyone else smells.
Most of all don’t get upset or depressed because you are finding it hard, you will be at university for at least 3 years, just because you haven’t got a friendship group within the first few weeks or months doesn’t mean you are destined to spend your life miserable and alone somewhere.