Starting university and moving away from the comfort of your family home is an undeniably daunting prospect. Luckily, there is no better time than Freshers’ week to throw yourself into making new friendships.
First up, give the people you’re living with a chance. First impressions are not always the most accurate when nerves take over, and remember that even the loudest person in your house may be missing home. Resist the urge to compare your flatmates to your long-term home friends, as this is unfair and a futile exercise. It may take a while for the people you live with to relax and the bravado to wear off.
There is a ton of pressure that comes with starting university, and you may feel embarrassed to admit how many people you have (not) slept with, or which drugs you have (not) taken. Don’t believe everything that’s said in “Never Have I Ever”. Some people will try and create a new identity for themselves, but this can only last so long. In my first week at university, I panicked and said that I smoked. Someone handed me a cigarette and I lit it at the wrong end… to the bemusement of the people around me. This is not recommended. The best advice I could give is to be honest with people. The likelihood is that there are people thinking exactly the same thing as you are.
If the people in your flat really aren’t your cup of tea, all is not lost. Knock at the doors of different flats in your block and introduce yourself. As well as this, don’t forget about the Societies Fair. This is a fantastic opportunity to find people with similar interests to you. Most societies will run taster sessions in the first couple of weeks, so go along and meet people that float your boat. Aside from this, you will definitely share common interests with the people on your course, so strike up a conversation with those sat next to you in a lecture. Exchange names so you can add them on Facebook later; social media can work wonders in forging those friendships early on. During my first Freshers’ week I would meet people on nights out and write their names in my phone with the intention of adding them the next day. Suffice to say this usually ended in a jumbled note saying: “Lcuy Eeewvans.Girl with preety dress xx”. Oh Lucy from Glam toilets, I guess we’ll never know what our friendship could have been.
If all else fails, Cardiff University offer a fantastic student support service if you have any problems with settling in. Keep in mind that everyone is in the same boat, and will be experiencing similar emotions to you in the coming weeks. Take every opportunity that comes your way and give those around you a chance – even if on first impressions they may not present themselves as a likely friend. University is all about mixing with people that you have little or no common ground with, but they usually make the most interesting new friends. Good luck!