I remember walking out of a pub lunch after my first church service at university and quickly realised I had no clue where my house was in a city I had just moved to! Looking like a classic fresher, I whipped out my phone and used google maps to navigate me home safely.
As I was halfway there I passed two guys who also looked lost and confused, holding their phones and trying to find familiar landmarks. We laughed as we passed each other and I joked saying, “are you lost too?”. It turned out that we lived on the same street and decided to try to find our way home together. 15 minutes later, we found our street and said goodbye as newly acquainted neighbours. I went to settle into my room when all three of my new housemates knocked at my door to say that there were two boys at the front door asking if I wanted to go for a pint. They were astonished that I had met people and made friends so quickly after one day of being in the city! We went on that year to invite each other to parties on our road and have amazing faith conversations about Jesus as they had never met a Christian before so had a lot of questions!
Making friends at university can feel daunting but remember, everyone is in the same boat and looking to make friends! I get that walking around lost isn't the way everyone will make friends but here are some other opportunities you can take in freshers to make friends!
Join a club or society
Clubs and societies give great opportunities to try new things but they are also a huge way you can meet and make friends with people from the offset. I joined the CU and University Choir straight away and met a mass amount of people from different backgrounds and cultures who went on to become good friends. Be bold and sign up to any club or society that takes your interest! Go to their taster sessions and meet other people in the same boat as you trying new things and looking to make pals.
Join a church search
This is a great way to find a church to call home away from home as well as get to know other Christian students who are also searching for a church! Lots of churches offer food before or after the service for students in order to get to know other newbies as well as returning students - prioritise these as you’ll get fed great food as well as connect with other Christian students who can become friends that give you Christ-centred community!
Go invite mad!
Making friends takes time to get to know them and what better way to do this than inviting them over for a home cooked meal, movie night or games night etc. Most students will be missing home and yearning for that quality time with someone to sit and talk that doesn’t involve wrecking your liver with alcohol every night of freshers. Be bold and be the one that suggests doing things as most likely, students will be wishing someone invites them into conversation rather than to another club night. Why not suggest to course-mates to go for lunch together after a lecture or meet beforehand to grab a coffee?
These are just a few ideas to help make friends but there are so many more opportunities that will come your way to make friends as you start uni. Grab every opportunity that comes your way, try to find your people that will help you stay true to yourself and most importantly, enjoy the adventure!