Degree Of Separation – How To Make Friends At University

a group of people walking on grass with their arms around each other

There’s a lot of pressure for uni to be the best time ever, a time when you’ll make friends for life. But it’s not always that straightforward and can be really overwhelming; you’re moving away from your family and home, finding your way around a new town/city, meeting new tutors and having to sort out your own bills and money, how are you supposed to make friends at uni as well?

Even the most outgoing people can feel nervous; 59% of students questioned said they feel lonely most of the time, some of the time, or at least once a week, which shows that if you are feeling a bit lost, you’re not the only one feeling that way.

But how can you connect with other people who feel the same?

We’ve put together 5 tips for making friends at uni.


  • Try to choose accommodation that suits your needs. Do you want a party flat? Or something a bit quieter? You’re more likely to make friends with the people you live with if they also like being in their PJs at 7.30pm, rather than people who start getting ready to go out at 11pm, a shot in each hand.
  • Once your accommodation is sorted you could start a WhatsApp group for your flat/housemates; this way you can get to know each other a bit before moving in day, as well as coordinating kitchen appliances so you don’t end up with 6 kettles and no toaster.
  • On the big day itself, leave your door open as you’re unpacking; it’s easier to say hi through an open door. You could offer to help carry something or make cups of tea.
  • Arrange a group supermarket trip, or a night out.
  • Spend some time in communal areas.
  • Remember, it’s easy to bond over food!
a freshers week posit note on a top of a calendar

Freshers Week

Freshers’ Week is a great way to meet new people, with lots of events taking place; check out the Fresher’s Week Facebook page, or section on the uni website to find out what’s going on.

You’ll be able to chat to the students representing the different clubs and societies, they often put on events too; nights out, trips etc.

You’ll only do Fresher’s Week once, so it’s worth getting stuck in. It doesn’t have to be non-stop pub crawls (unless you want it to be, in which case it totally can be) there are also tours and lectures and quizzes, and one of the best things about Fresher’s Week is the freebies, so make the most of those!

Lend A Hand

Helping out with a charity, or volunteering, is another way to meet like-minded people, and it makes you feel part of something bigger than yourself. You’ll be helping out with a good cause which will make you feel good, as well as being a good way to get some experience; you can add it to your CV to make you stand out to employers.

There’s also evidence that volunteering can help your psychological wellbeing, by reducing the effects of stress, anger and anxiety and during a study involving 70,000 people, the people who volunteered were more satisfied with their lives. They reported that their overall health was better too, which is good news for anyone who comes into contact with the dreaded Fresher’s flu!

a barista pouring milk into a latte

Get a Job

Lots of students need a part-time job when they start uni, to help with bills etc, particularly in the current Cost of Living crisis when it’s important to learn how to manage your money and budget. But working part-time is also a brilliant way of getting out there and meeting people and if you get a job in the Student Union bar, the library, café or gym, you’ll become a familiar face around campus. It’s also good for gaining work experience and building your confidence.

It’s important to make sure you balance your work with your studies; uni work should take priority, the aim is to make your life easier, not place extra pressure on you.

Get Out There

  • As tempting as it is to shut yourself away in your room, that can often make you feel lonelier. Go and work in the library, or a café, so you’re surrounded by people and noise.
  • Don’t force friendships; it takes time to build up close friendships, and often the people you meet when you first get to uni aren’t the people who end up being your close friends. It’s good to have different friendship groups as we get different things from different people.
  • Don’t be scared of starting up conversations; we’re all so used to communicating through our phones so it can feel quite daunting to actually speak to someone. But just be yourself and remember to listen. And take your headphones out every so often, we all use them as a comfort blanket, but people are more likely to talk to you without them in. Also, keep an eye out for other people who might be struggling.
  • Say yes to things. Go to an event you might not usually go to, you might surprise yourself.
  • Look after yourself. Often if you’re feeling a bit lonely you don’t eat as well or do as much exercise, but there’s a strong link between exercise and mental health as it decreases stress hormones, like cortisol, and if it’s a team sport it can help you meet people too, and feel part of something.
  • Ask for help. If you’re struggling, and feeling overwhelmed or anxious about making friends, remember that it’s always helpful to talk to someone. Student services at your uni will be used to helping with these issues, or there are plenty of other resources available, such as Student Minds, Student Space and Nightline.
a group of people dancing in a club

Starting uni can be a brilliant experience, and making friends at uni can make a difference between a good and bad experience. The social aspect is a strong focus for new students, and while it can be daunting it’s also important to remember that you’re not alone.

The first few months of uni can be overwhelming, so it helps to get on top of all the practical things as soon as possible, such as checking out student insurance. Give us a call and get a free, no-strings quote that will cut through all the jargon and make sure you get exactly the kind of insurance you need. We also have tips on staying safe at uni and a guide to student energy bills. The more prepared you are before you go, the more you can make the most of your time at uni.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. We make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. We will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. We will not be liable for any loss, injury, or damage arising from the display or use of this information. This policy is subject to change at any time.

We offer a variety of cover levels, so please check the policy cover suits your needs before purchasing. For your protection, please ensure you read the Insurance Product Information Document (IPID) and policy wording, for information on policy exclusions and limitations.