It goes without saying that the easiest ways to make friends at uni are shared interests and shared experiences (you WILL bond over the terrifying experience that is moving away from home and making it on your own — failing that you’ll bond over mouldy plates, messy flatmates and Jesticles). However, Freshers week is an unsettling mix of scary and exciting, so here’s 5 objects that will help you along the path of friendship.
- A Doorstop
Everyone likes a bit of quiet time, but a closed door in Freshers is one step to isolation. Give yourself 5 minutes after your parents have left to sit on your new bed, in your new room, in your new city before you open your door and throw yourself into the mix of people waiting outside. If you keep your door open with a doorstop, people are more likely to pop by and have a chat, and more importantly, if you don’t get involved, you’ll feel homesick for longer – so keep the door open and the friends welcome!
- A Printer
This one might seem a little odd, but, lots of people come to university without printers, despite the fact they will need to print stuff (gig tickets, photos, exam timetables etc.). If you are the lucky owner of a printer, then people will call on you for the sacred ink and paper and consequently, you’ll be meeting new people and getting to know them.
Speakers are a must have for every successful pre-drinks, so the supplier of said speakers is often held up on a pedestal. Putting on some music is a great way to alleviate awkwardness and get people discussing their favourite tracks. Also music breaks up any awkward silences – so there’s a plus.
Posters are first of all a great way to make your new box-like halls room feel a fraction like home. What’s great is they also show people what you like and what you’re interested in, which might encourage someone to tell you about the time they saw Beyoncé live or that they too were at Reading Fest! Another great one is a scratch map, as people will tell you all about their holidays and travels and ask about yours. Next thing you know, you find out you both went on a lads holiday to Magaluf last summer.
Disclaimer: alcohol isn’t necessary to make friends (please drink responsibly etc.) BUT, freshers week is full of events that might need a little Dutch courage to help you throw yourself into. Sharing a bottle of wine with a new mate is a great way to help you swap stories and get to know each other. Equally, after a couple of drinks the night before, you’ll have lots to bond over the next day – although this time may be over a cup of tea. Food is another fail safe. When I started university my Mum and Grandma had packed me off with a load of cakes and brownies (presumably so I could bribe people to be my friend). Needless to say it worked. If you have gooey chocolate cake, people will want to have some and whilst they’re there you can bond over a love of all things food.