One of the most worrying parts of starting university can be the thought of building an entirely new friendship group. We know for some, meeting new people can be stressful, and it can definitely be difficult to know where to start. But remember, everyone else is in the same boat too! Everyone wants to meet people and make new friends, so don’t be afraid to strike up conversations with those around you. But if that seems too daunting, here are three top tips to help you make new friends:
Make sure you attend The BIG Fair
The BIG Fair gives you the chance to see all of the sports, societies, and activities that you can get involved with as a Kent Union member The Fair will also have the Kent Union Recruitment Fair, for those looking for work next year, and the Home Stamp Housing Fair, where you can get advice on off-campus housing, meet accredited landlords and see what properties they have to offer. Sign-up for the things you may be interested in and you are bound to find other students like you! Or perhaps try something new: you’ll learn something, and you’ll meet a greater variety of your fellow students. Most student groups offer a try before you buy too, so there’s no immediate commitment.
Throw yourself into the events in January
These events aren’t just nights out. There are loads of daytime activities during the time before you start your studies, and are a great opportunity to meet people and make new friends. Go along to as many events as you can! Why not challenge yourself to go to something that’s outside your comfort zone? You might be surprised (in a good way!) by the people you meet. Keep an eye on the event listings here for what’s going on. New events will be added throughout August.
Use the Buddy Scheme
If you feel especially worried about meeting people once you start at Kent, then make sure you sign-up for the Buddy Scheme. Kent Union’s Buddy Scheme pairs new students with returning-students, based on their interests. These buddies are volunteers who know what you’re going through and can then provide you with practical information and advice, as well as giving you the opportunity to meet new people through their volunteering or sports projects.
If you feel really homesick or lonely when you start, Canterbury Nightline are there to listen. Nightline is a non-judgemental listening service run by trained student volunteers. Any Kent student can call confidentially and anonymously to talk about whatever is on their mind. No matter what the problem, big or small, Nightline are happy to talk, or just listen, to you.