Making friends: How I found my 5 types of uni mate

09 Feb 2018
By Sophie M., Student at University of Edinburgh

Worried about making friends at uni? Welcome to the club! Most new students feel a mixture of excitement and nerves about meeting new people, but take comfort from that – we’re all in it together.

Here are the five types of uni friends you’ll have and my top tips for making them.

1) Your flatmates

If you don’t immediately become best friends with your flatmates, don't panic.

If you don’t immediately become best friends with your flatmates, don't panic. Being chatty and taking an interest in what they enjoy helps to create a more relaxed atmosphere and overcome any first-week awkwardness.

Top tip: Organise a flat dinner or movie night to get to know each other.

My experience: My flatmates aren’t my best friends but it’s nice to have friendly people around to have a cup of tea or watch TV with.

2) Study buddies

If you don’t immediately become best friends with your flatmates, don't panic.

Getting to know people on your course means you always have someone to sit next to in lectures – and someone to procrastinate with when deadlines are looming!

Top tip: Get chatting to people next to you in lectures or tutorials and suggest going for coffee or lunch afterwards.

My experience: By posting on the Facebook group for my Unite Students accommodation before I started, I met a girl who’s also on my course. This meant we could walk to our lectures together in the first week, and now we’re best friends!

3) Society sidekicks

Being involved in societies and doing activities is one of the best ways to make friends with like-minded people at uni. Through this you can find your running partner, your fellow bookworm or just someone who loves chocolate as much as you do.

Top tip: Go to the activities fair during fresher’s week to see everything that you can join and give it a go.

My experience: I met one of my best friends at tennis trials and, although neither of us made the team, we still go to tennis socials together and treat ourselves to pizza afterwards!

4) Party animals

These friends are the ones you call on when you want a great night out. They know all the best places to go and will be your dancing buddies all night!

Top tip: Arrange pre-drinks at your flat with people you like, and tell them to bring a few friends along.

My experience: Getting ready with my friends before nights out helped us to bond as a group.

5) Advice guru

This friend is your replacement mum at uni. They’ll always be there to chat and have chocolate and tissues at the ready.

Top tip: Make sure to look out for other people and offer advice when you can – they‘re likely to be there for you in return.

My experience: It took me time to find this trusted friend, but I found being open about any worries I had encouraged my friends to open up too, which enabled us to become closer.

This friend is your replacement mum at uni.

Take your time and be yourself

Try not to worry if your new best mate doesn’t appear right away. Nobody wants to feel lonely, but use my tips to stay open to meeting new people and it’ll happen.

Be true to yourself, your likes and dislikes. And remember: it’s okay to want some alone time too – finding out who you are can be as rewarding as finding out about others.

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Sophie is a University of Edinburgh student studying Politics.