“Everyone is in the same boat”

Published on behalf of Lawrence Penn.


You’ve probably heard this said to you a few times as your move in to uni approaches. It is however very true. And the name of this boat is HMS I’ve Got No Friends.

If you sit down and think about it for too long it really is a daunting prospect; you don’t know anyone. Despite this being the case, it is well known that uni is famed for being one of the most social times of your life. It surely therefore cannot be so difficult to gather together your band of brothers/sisters.

Take a trip to the Students’ Union
The first thing I did when I arrived was get myself down to the Students’ Union as I knew that it served as some kind of social hub. Sure enough within minutes of walking in I was chatting to some people in Bar Phoenix. We decided that a night out was the proper course of action and we went down to Leadmill to begin what was undoubtedly going to be the first of many nights out.

Join a society
Without a doubt though, the best way to make friends at uni is through societies. They do all the work for you. In friendships we look for likeminded people, plenty of opportunities to meet up, people who are up for a laugh and great nights out. Societies provide all of the above and all whist doing the hobby or sport that you love.

I study Geography and my course has a course based society. Joining this society allowed me to meet all of my course mates in an atmosphere that wasn’t a lecture theatre or seminar. This has meant that my course mates are also my best mates. If your course has a society I would definitely encourage you to join. Not just for the social aspect but also because they can offer help, and other people will be facing the same work issues as you.

Meet people where you live
Then of course there’s your flatmates. It’s always quite strange with flatmates as in halls everyone is randomly thrown together. This can however be the best thing that ever happened to you. 9 times out of 10 everyone gets along, as long as you don’t steal their milk. Uni is full of all sorts and within your first couple of weeks your mind will widen to more sorts of people. Don’t limit yourself to the types of friends you had back home. You can’t face such a huge life change such as uni without a certain degree of open mindedness. Often I found the more different the person, the more interesting I found them and the more our differences complimented each other.

So as you board HMS I’ve Got No Friends, don’t worry. It will sail any way you want it to. Be it a booze cruise or tour of the Norwegian Fjords; someone else on that boat has the same idea as you.

By Lawrence Penn