How I made friends through societies at uni
They say the best piece of advice to give Freshers is to get involved in everything at uni, and this is true. Sometimes, you’ll want to branch out from your flat and coursemates. Sometimes, you just don’t get on with your flat. Loads of people seem to assume that if you don’t get on with your flat, it’s the be-all and end-all of uni and you’re destined to become friendless. But that’s not the case – I made my best friends through societies at uni, and here’s how.
Go to socials!
It seems obvious, but socials are the easiest way to get involved. Loads of societies have ‘give it a go’ sessions if you want to dip your toes into something new or meet people without committing. But society socials were how I met my best friends – initially, taking the plunge was scary, and I encountered a lot of the typical society stereotypes out there, and I thought turning up on my own would be social suicide. But everyone was super friendly, and I never had to turn up alone after that first time. Be brave!
Consider applying for a committee position
This will come later in the year, but joining the committee for a society is a great way to meet new people too. You’ll doubtless bond with all the other committee members, and promoting the society will mean maximum interaction with members. Plus, it’ll look great on your CV, and you’ll learn valuable skills, so you’ve got nothing to lose.
Obvious, again, but it counts for so much. Everyone is at a social to be, well, sociable, so don’t hold back. Spark up a conversation with anyone who’s looking a little lost, and they’ll be grateful for it. Uni isn’t like school – it’s actually considered cool to be a nice, normal human being. If you’re considering going for a committee position as well, it helps to be friendly and confident from the start.
Bond over your common interests
If you’re at a society social, you’re bound to share a common interest with people – whether it’s a sports or an academic society (or anything else), you’re there with everyone else because you share a love of something, whatever it might be. Talk about your favourite books if you’re with a literature society or your favourite dishes if it’s a food society. There’s plenty to talk about, no matter what society it is, and will help you come out of your shell.
Throw yourself into every event possible! I booked a trip to Dublin with the English Society before I’d even met anyone, and it was a risk that paid off. Turn up to events even if they don’t look like your type of thing, because you may surprise yourself. Don’t hold back – you’ll only regret it if you do.