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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

How to make friendships after freshers week

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Exeter chapter.

Congratulations on surviving freshers (whether this is your first, second, or even seventh)! It’s always such a socially draining week, and with term starting, here are the best ways to keep in touch with all the wonderful and exciting people you’ve met. It doesn’t matter in the slightest if you have or haven’t made your “forever friends” during freshers, especially if making friends and socialising impacts your mental health. There is so much time, you don’t need to put pressure on yourself to find your closest friends in the first week… you might even make your closest friends in second term or first year, or later on down the line.

Where do i find people?

If you’re in student halls, it’s very easy to move in with your flatmates and think that it’s the only (or best) place to make friends. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth! You probably will be friends with your flatmates, and that’s amazing, but they’re definitely not your only option.

Some of the best advice I received before going to uni is that there are three types of friends you’ll meet:

  • Friends you’ll meet in your accommodation 

If you are in halls of residence, don’t forget that there are other flats within the building. One of the best ways to meet people in your halls is to have a massive group chat for your halls or blocks. When I was in my First Year, these were set up after results day, when we found out which one we were in. So they might already have been set, and you just need to be added to it! Ask the flats in your block if they want to get to know each other or suggest an activity everyone could get involved in. 

  • Friends you’ll meet on your course

Whether you’re on a course of a thousand or a hundred, there is bound to be someone on your course who you get along with! To make friends, when I started uni, I showed up to my first seminar five minutes early (this was the only one I was early to – trust me!). I found someone sitting in the cafe next to the building for my seminar and asked them how they found the reading and then sat next to them in the class. We’ve been friends ever since! Another thing I’ve started doing is, in my first lecture for each module, asking whoever sits next to me to have a coffee after it’s finished. This is an easy and non-committal way to get to know other people on the course and creates a space to go over the lecture. A win-win, in my opinion.

  • Friends you’ll meet going to societies

Making friends in societies is by far the easiest of these three; you have the events already planned for you, other people ready to socialise with you, and common ground to talk about things. I would recommend joining between 3 and 5 societies (with Her Campus being one of them, of course!) but be aware you’ll probably only end up going to one or two by the end of the year. The best part of societies is that there is a society for everything, and I mean everything. It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in knitting, longboarding or anything in between – there will be a society for you. There is usually a society for your course, or a subject like it, which is another way to find people on your course.

Now you’ve found someone, talk to them

Let’s start with the hard part, messaging people. Unfortunately, the only way to keep in touch with people is to actually message them and talk to them. I know this is easier said than done, but remember, everyone is just as nervous as you, so take the lead and message first. I promise they will be so grateful that you made an effort, and if they don’t, then they aren’t worth your time anyways, and at least you know now rather than later.

find somewhere to meet up

So now the hard part is over; you’ve found someone who wants to hang out, and you need to think of somewhere to go. This is the really important part; go somewhere you’re genuinely interested in! It doesn’t matter if you want to seem cool by going to the “indie-est” coffee shop or having the wildest night out ever; if you’re not enjoying it, there’s no point in pretending that you’re interested in it. Apart from building a friendship based on lies, it will be really obvious to the person you are with. Instead, it would help if you suggested somewhere you’d enjoy, be it a museum, a walk in the park or whatever.

If you have moved to a new city, there will always be places to explore, and if you’ve gone to a university in a place you already know, then offer a helping hand and show someone your favourite place! That being said, this works both ways. If someone messages you asking to go somewhere, and it doesn’t feel like you’re kind of vibe, then trust your gut. There are more than enough people at university – you don’t only have to be best friends with the first people you meet!

Hi! My name's India and I'm this year's Sex and Relationships editor! I'm in my third-year of Film and Television studies at the University of Exeter. I'm a plus-sized and sex-positive feminist who loves listening to Harry Styles and Taylor Swift (Taylor's version ofc) :)