One of the most challenging parts of starting university is getting to leave your friends and family behind, that is if your school demands that you relocate to another town, city, state, or country.
Like many other students, it is normal for you to worry about making new, especially if you’ve not been good at it and you seldom speak to people when you find yourself in a new environment before university.
Making friends maybe even more difficult for you once you get into the university, you may be anxious and may find it hard to speak to anyone; you may be worried if you’ll be accepted by the people you’ll meet in school or if you’ll get to make the right friends.
The university is home to people from different places with different cultural and social backgrounds. This makes it difficult for some people to easily associate with others, as they may share different beliefs and opinions about things.
Many students also struggle with making friends, some of them spend most of their time in the university, living in loneliness, anxiety, and low self-confidence, and may only get to make friends towards the end of their final year of academic studies.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t talk much about the detrimental effects of loneliness, and the negative side effects it has on mental health and wellbeing. A lot of students battle with long term loneliness and depression.
As a result, they often may feel too lazy to complete work, avoiding doing a lot of things due to anxiety.
This feeling becomes worse when they get to live in the university environment when they get to see everyone in groups, students of the same grade doing things together, or when they hear other students chatting about how they enjoyed their night out with friends.
At this point, the thought of being secluded kicks in even more. This sense of isolation and exclusion may often lead to depression which would definitely have a negative impact on their social and academic life.
How to make new friends at the university
If you’re reading this and you are in such a position, or if you are worried that making friends would be difficult for you once you get to university, here are a few tips that would be of help to you.
Try to take part in student activities
there are a lot of unions and groups on campus, most of which are voluntary. If you are able to join a few of these organizations, It will take some time and effort, but you’ll eventually find somewhere that you would feel comfortable.
Contact your department
If you struggle with your academic work as a result of your situation, you should consider talking to your department to see if there is anything they could do for you. They may grant you a leave of absence so that you can get the necessary support you need, or make any other adjustments that can be of help to you.
Utilize your university’s support networks
Asking for help shouldn’t be a thing of shame; you should consult the school’s guardians and counselling services as much as possible. The guardians and counselling department is established to help students through a variety of different issues, and they may be able to get you the support you need.
Stay in touch with your home
Especially if you’re suffering from financial pressures, calling home is a good idea. It would even help reduce the feeling of loneliness.
Try to get out of your shell
Although it may be really difficult to build up the courage to talk to people, it is possible. You could begin a conversation with a course mate by asking for help with a topic taught in call or to lend you a pen or handout.
Have in mind that you are not the only one who is anxious about making friends with others, the person sitting next to you may be feeling the same way too, and may really want you to start that conversation.