Marlix Student Living

Making Friends at University

Beyond Expectation

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They say the friendships you make at university can last a lifetime. But, initially building those relationships and making friends is a big worry for a lot of students. So, let us take some of that pressure off with a few ideas you can try.

Join Facebook Groups

Prior to arriving at university, be sure to search for relevant Facebook groups you might like to join. This could be your university accommodation, course or activities. You may only come across a select few (if any) but it’s worth joining. You can keep up to date with what’s happening and might stumble across something you want to be involved with.

Even better, you may connect with someone through a group. Having a connection with someone before starting university can really make a difference and help with your confidence, even if it’s just familiarising yourself with some faces.

We also advise first time students to join the Save the Student Facebook group for tips and advice from current and former students. You’ll be able to find out everything from the best student bank accounts to the best restaurant deals.

Freshers’ Week

The biggest event on your university calendar, apart from your graduation, of course — freshers’ week. This is probably one of the best opportunities for you to meet people during the early stages of university life. Explore your university page to find out relevant dates of events taking place.

If you live in university halls, make an effort to involve your flatmates. Suggest attending some freshers’ events together. There’ll be loads of interesting things going on during this time, so try to do as much as possible. And don’t worry if nights out aren’t your scene. Universities often organise day trips, guided tours of the city or even trips to IKEA if you’re in need of some bedroom essentials

Join A Society

Your university will have a plethora of societies to choose from. If you’re the athletic type, there are a whole host of sports to choose from. At The University of Derby, a full list of clubs and societies can be found here.

Making friends at societies is a lot easier — you already share a common interest in the activity you’ve signed up for! Be open and patient. It’s one of the best ways to make friends at university.

Study Groups

Of course, university is an exciting time full of newly found independence and a lot of partying. However, during settling in and making friends, it’s easy to forget that you’re there to study, and ultimately get a degree. So, why not combine the two?

You can still make friends and learn — form a study group. Not only is it sociable, but you’re bound to get some tips for your essays and referencing too. Perhaps ask around in your lectures or classroom sessions to see if anyone wants join.

Student Accommodation

Whether you live in halls or private student accommodation, there are ways to make friends. If you live in student halls, then you will get to know your flatmates fairly quickly. We recommend keeping an open door; both metaphorically and physically! People will be way more likely to pop their head in and say ‘hi’ if you do. A closed door may suggest that you don’t want to talk to anyone, or that you’re shut off to the idea of making friends. If you’re anxious about breaking the ice, ask your flatmates if they need help unboxing their things.

When you live in private accommodation, making friends through flatmates isn’t an option. Instead, you do need to try and get yourself out there. Of course, this may feel a little daunting at first especially if you’re a natural introvert. However, it’s important to build friendships and relationships with others to help care for our mental wellbeing. Try spending some time in the communal spaces. You may not get chatting to someone right away, but the more often you show your face, the more likely you’ll be to strike up a conversation with another familiar face. That way, you’ll be able to introduce yourself to people as they come and go.

Most new students worry about making friends at university. And while it’s true that everyone is in the same boat, we also understand that not every boat is exactly the same.

So, whether you’re living at home or moving away; a big fan of nights out or not interested in drinking at all; there’s a multitude of ways you can make friends at university.


Remember, navigating a new environement and new life-experiences is challenging so it’s important to be kind and not put too much pressure on yourself. If you make mistakes, it won’t define your entire university experience. The important thing to do is to always try your best and ultimately, try and enjoy your time there whilst you can.


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