When you’re in first year, it can be easy to forget that halls aren’t the be-all-end-all of your time at university and sometimes, you just don’t get along with the people you live with. This can feel like a bit of a let-down. After all, you came to university to get a great degree, but also to make friends and have a laugh at the same time. However it really isn’t the end of the world if you don’t get along with your flatmates. University is a huge place, and there are loads of ways to make new friends – don’t be disheartened because you don’t hang out with the people a computer assigned you to live with!
There are over 400 societies at the SU, covering almost every activity you can imagine (and yes, that includes both belly dancing and bell ringing). University is an ideal time to try out something new, or to continue on with one of your hobbies from school. There really is a society to suit everyone, no matter how niche your interest. The start of the academic year is the perfect time to go along to a few different societies to see which one suits you before signing up – though if you miss any starter events, all societies are open to new members for the entire year.
Joining a sports club gives you the chance to play in a team, and so many people at university meet their friends in training sessions. You can play competitively or just for fun, so you won’t be forced into competing! As with societies, the majority of sports teams offer taster sessions to give you a better idea of what to expect. Sports are a great way to get involved, stay fit and active, and have a laugh along the way.
Sure, sometimes your seminar material might not be very effective at keeping you awake, but the discussions you have in seminar as well as lectures give you the opportunity to chat to your course mates. Bonding over your love (or hate) of a certain topic is an easy conversation starter, and you never know how much you might have in common with someone you sit next to in seminars.
If you want to make friends, help your local community and fundraise at the same time, there’s no better way than volunteering. Manchester Raise and Give(link) (RAG) are always looking for new members and run regular fundraising events for a wide range of charities. In July members of RAG cycled 260 miles from Budapest to Zagreb, raising £50,000 for Breast Cancer Now in the process. The work RAG do – both abroad and in the Manchester area – makes a real difference, so it’s a great organisation to be a part of. At its core are a team of dedicated students, and they’re always happy to welcome a new member on board.
For more tips, advice on settling in to university life and links to all the opportunities discussed in this article click here.