A student’s guide to making friends

Ayesha is a third year student studying Criminology with Quantitative Methods, and has a cat named Buster. 

Browsing for Besties! 

Life doesn’t take us all on the same paths, hence you are always meeting new people and forming new relationships. It can be pretty daunting taking a new step without your pals you’ve known for years.

Being an introvert and feeling alone in an ocean of strangers, plus the unfamiliar environment is not the most ideal situation. Often once we step out our comfort zone, we achieve things we initially feared.  

“Though the purpose of university is to achieve your degree, the 3 year journey to the end should be well spent so you can remember the steps you took, and the memories you made to get so far.”

There are always ups and downs in life, it is friends whom we share our pain and happiness with. Don’t get me wrong though, you will not like everybody and not everybody will be your friend friend.

There are different types of “friends”

Personally, as an introvert I knew I would like to be around small company rather than a whole group of friends. However, that did not mean I disregarded everyone else. This is where my categories of friends occur:

1. I’ve seen you before… (Acquaintances) – These are the Hi/Bye friends.
You see them in your lectures or seminars and around university. Familiar faces, but you don’t really know much about them. You just smile and continue with your day.

2. I see you everyday type… (Regular friends) – These are those you hang with
These are those friends you have most your classes with and have lunch with. You see each other often so you become friends. You also carry out social activities with them outside university.

3. We NEED to talk…  (True friends) – form deep connections with
These are the friends where you can be at ease with at your most vulnerable moments. They may be friends you have known before university or at university. I personally don’t regard time as a factor of deep friendships.

So now we know the 3 types of friends, it gives some comfort once you start university. There are plenty opportunities for you to meet people and therefore chances to make new friends.

Through your course

Students studying together and laughingYour lectures will be full of people that are sharing the same class as you, so this mutual interest can be your first conversation topic.

As everyone is new and on the same boat, chances are you’ll stick with those who you speak to first. Which is an advantage as you can attend classes together maintaining attendance but also study outside class!

Also, in seminars where you are encouraged to engage in conversation. You’re most likely to share common interests with someone in the room whom you’ll see regularly!


There are hundreds of societies at City to join. Anything that is of interest for you or anything that is a part of you, you can count there is a society for! For example, being Pakistani there was a society for that! It meant I got to meet people with the same ethnicity as me which for me makes it that little bit to bond over with.

Within these societies there are countless events organised where you meet even more people that could be from other universities too. Be sure to never turn down an event, as it’s an opportunity to meet new people! 


Student ambassadorWith volunteering you get more involved with the university itself therefore you really hit two birds with one stone: you’re familiarising yourself with the university staff, facilities available and the actual building; and volunteering means you’ll meet all kinds of people, not just people in your age range.

I did this by becoming an ambassador (which you also happen to get paid for!) I found this a great way to make friends as you become friends with those you work with. Also, because you can pick your shifts, you can always be working with your friend should you wish to!

From all these opportunities be sure to offer your contact details and not be too afraid to! WhatsApp groups are usually created where you should keep active in! There are always events/parties being planned so keep your eye peeled.

Most importantly, be yourself, open-minded and brave! Be prepared to indulge in new experiences even in the most unexpected ways.

And of course say YES as much as you can! 

Still want to discover more about the social side of university? Read about Anas’s experience of student societies, Emily’s tips on making the most of your social life at uni.

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