Quick tips for building friendships at university and college

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Health Assured team

08 August 2022

The prospect of starting university or college can be daunting. It’s not just a change of education. The move means new studies, new people and new surroundings to get used to. But remember—you’re not the only one.

Everyone starting at university or college is in this together—and that’s why the friendships you form can be so important. Because you’re all in the same boat, there aren’t as many barriers to what could be a great bond. People want to build bridges and find people they get along with.

Although that doesn’t take away the fact that it can be scary to make those connections and put yourself out of your comfort zone, so to help you overcome those nerves, we’ve got some quick tips for building friendships at university and college.


Say yes 

You might be hesitant to jump to every opportunity if you’re not quite feeling up to it. But say yes where you can. Even if you decide the people, activity, or place isn’t for you. The most important thing is to try because then you know; if you never try, you’ll never know. Push past that feeling holding you back and say yes—you never know what could come from it.


Social media groups 

Social media can be a great way to connect with people before you arrive at university or college. Most universities, college campuses or student halls will have online groups where people can find others to connect with. It’s a perfect tool if you’re nervous about approaching new people in person. You can arrange plans beforehand, and they might even know some people you don’t too.


Sports and societies 

A tried and tested friendship-building technique is joining one of the university or college's sports clubs or societies. It’s the perfect time to throw yourself into something new and make friends with people who have similar interests. Sports and societies tend to have socials each week, so you’ll get to know a whole host of new faces by joining. Remember, everyone here is starting together.


Small gestures of kindness 

Little gestures can go a long way. Small gestures of kindness like making your housemate a cuppa, inviting a friend over for dinner or helping your classmate with their studies can boost friendship bonds. People want to be around kind, caring and genuine people. That effort won’t go unnoticed.


Make a plan 

Approaching others for the first time and taking that first step to making the plan might seem unnerving—but someone has to do it. Channel your inner courage and take that first step by being the one to make plans with others. Invite a classmate over, go for a coffee with your neighbour or go for a walk with your housemate. These small interactions could pave the way to great connections in the future.


Health Assured are here to support you 

Setting into life at university and college involves big changes that can be difficult to adapt to at first. If you’re ever feeling isolated or alone, know that we’re here to support you via the SAP helpline.


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