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Confession: my experience of making friends at university is very different to many of my home friends’. Now I am now a third-year and I am still completely besotted with my flat-mates who I was forced to live with in first-year (thanks to the very random accommodation process). I got along with my flat so well that I was puzzled by the people on my course who were so eager to invite me on nights out – more friends?! But with hindsight, I should have delved into other pockets of friends…

It’s great to be the social butterfly:

(Oh, hindsight really is a wonderful thing). Great friends with your flat? Wonderful. You have really fun course mates? Great! You’ve met some cool kids in the society you have recently joined? Even better. Uni is definitely about embracing the new, and new friends should always be a positive. It is one of the most terrifying experiences, as they may be nothing like the friends you have at home, but that can also be really refreshing! If there are evenings where your flat-mates are going somewhere that you do not fancy, you have other friends to experience these things with.

Embrace difference:

They say that opposites attract and I am here to preach the truth behind this. Every single person who I lived with in first-year differed from me in every single way possible – no exaggeration (funny that one of those flat-mates who was so different is now my boyfriend, oops!). The main difference between my friends and I was the fact that I am from South Wales valleys and most of them are from the Home Counties. But our huge contrasts in personalities just led to endless laughter and inside jokes – perfect!

You’re never fully dressed without a smile:

In school I was known as ‘smiler,’ as I would smile and talk to anyone. This is something I cannot recommend enough. With a little smile and a friendly “hello,” you instantly become approachable and you make the initial introduction stage a little easier for your future friend. It may be quite tiring to force yourself if you’re not used to it, but give it a go for the first couple of weeks!

Please remember that university accommodation is not a natural way of making friends, as you are essentially forced to be friends with people that may not tickle your fancy. The more societies, events and even lectures that you attend, the more likely you are to naturally make friends. Although it may be daunting at first, you’ll often find that going to an event on your own isn’t as scary as it initially seemed.

The most important thing to remember is to not stress about it! University is all about you, so lap up the fact that you’re allowed to be selfish.

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