This is the most common way to get involved. In Freshers Week, there will be lots of opportunities to get to know people who run societies! There are over 250 groups, ranging from sports to academic to video games, and you can make your own if nothing takes your fancy. Some do have a membership fee, but most allow you to try it out first. So get out of your comfort zone and give it a go!
Housemates in first year are often hit or miss. Moving from home (potentially for the first time) and living with new people can be really intimidating. However, if you can effectively communicate with your housemates and maintain mutual respect, then they might be friends for life! Definitely try to set up social events with them in the first few weeks where you can get to know each other and create some informal boundaries. Equally, don’t put lots of pressure on yourself to be best friends with them. It’s totally fine if you don’t get along and prefer to socialise with coursemates (etc.) – you get to choose who you live with in your second year!
The Canterbury Campus has a very vibrant nightlife. Venue is Canterbury’s biggest nightclub, and most Colleges have their own eating establishments, which sometimes run events throughout the year. It’s definitely worth getting involved in these – from Karaoke to Quiz Nights, follow as many Kent social media accounts to keep updated on these. Canterbury city centre also has many places to go, such as Tokyo Tea Rooms, Chemistry and the Cuban. Try a few out with friends to get a feel for what you like!
Go to co-curricular events
Your school/corresponding academic society will run academic events that are typically free to attend and allow you to network with academics or fellow interested students. This isn’t for everyone, but if you can’t get enough of your course, this is definitely a good chance to get more involved.
The university and Kent Union run lots of different well-being events. These pop up randomly throughout the year, and the best way to keep in the loop is to follow social media pages and keep an eye on your emails. Some of these events have included therapy dog visits, painting, friendship bracelet making, axe throwing and more!