Connect with others as a postgraduate student

Caroline Harriman is a Kent PhD student. Here she lists her top tips for making the most of campus life

Postgraduate life

Entering a university campus as a postgraduate student can be an exciting yet challenging experience, I know I felt this way when I started my PhD journey in 2021. While you’re eager to dive into your studies and embark on a new academic journey, you might also feel lonely in an unfamiliar environment or worry that you won’t find your cohort. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can employ to help you connect with others and avoid loneliness during your time on campus.

Caroline Harriman
Caroline Harriman

Don’t be shy—introduce yourself, strike up conversations, and exchange contact information with people you meet.




Attend Orientation Events

One of the best ways to meet people and begin forming connections is by attending orientation events. These are usually advertised via email or on posters dotted around campus, with many of them being aimed specifically at PG students. These events provide an excellent opportunity to meet fellow students, faculty members, and support staff. Don’t be shy—introduce yourself, strike up conversations, and exchange contact information with people you meet. Building connections from the very beginning can help you feel more connected and less lonely. 

Join societies

At Kent, we have several societies aimed towards PG students e.g. The Mature Society. Most universities have a wide range of clubs and organisations catering to various interests and hobbies. Whether you’re passionate about sports, arts, culture, or academia, there’s likely a society for you. Joining these groups is a fantastic way to meet like-minded individuals who share your interests. Not only will you have the chance to make friends, but you’ll also have fun participating in activities you enjoy. Go to Kent Union’s website and have a gander!  

Engage in Group Study Sessions

Postgraduate studies can be demanding, and group study sessions can be a great way to bond with your peers while also improving your academic performance. Create or join study groups where you can collaborate on assignments, discuss coursework, and share knowledge. Not only will this help you avoid loneliness, but it will also enhance your understanding of your field of study. 

Seek support if needed 

At Kent, we have a fantastic support team at Student Support and Wellbeing, where you can attend an appointment or talk about strategies to battle loneliness; you are not alone and there will always be people to help and support you through your PG journey!