We’ve all heard the advice before: “join societies”, “make friends on your course”, “hang out with your housemates”. Granted this is all good advice (and things you should do!) But, finding your social circle isn’t always easy – and doing these things doesn’t always work. I have found this especially true as a postgraduate, when societies seem a little bit… undergrad.
That’s why I am going to share with you my five tips nobody ever told you about meeting people and finding your social circle at university. As someone that has spent five years at university, I like to think I know a thing or two!
Get in contact with people before term starts
To this day, one of my best friends is someone I first spoke to on the University new students’ page. You can find this with a quick search. You will be met with hundreds of people looking for others on the same course! Believe me, when you first move into your new halls or start your new course, you will be so relieved to already know someone.
Make use of the GSA and University organised events
GSA stands for Graduate Students’ Association and is one of the best things about being a postgraduate student at York. It’s basically a representative body specifically for postgraduate students. That sounds boring, but in reality, it means there are plenty of events, gatherings and activities to participate in all throughout the year. You’d be hard-pressed not to make a friend doing a pub quiz in a bar full of like-minded postgrads. It’s crucial for finding your postgraduate social circle.
Knock on doors!
This one is quite self-explanatory, but really, it works. If you’re living in halls, the best thing you can do is knock on doors. Not just those of people in your flat, but also throughout the rest of the accommodation block. Of course, this tip is also vital if you are living in a houseshare – you will want to keep the neighbours on your side!
Spend time in communal areas
This one might sound a little bit obvious, but I was certainly guilty of hiding in my room from time to time when I first moved into my flat. After all, the people I was living with were strangers. However, It is SO important to spend as much time in the communal areas (both in your flat and in other places on site) if you want to meet new people.
Remember, everyone is in the same boat
When you feel nervous about approaching anyone (or doing any of the above), just bear in mind that everyone is in the same boat. People want you to talk to them and they are just as apprehensive as you are. When you’re worried about finding your postgraduate social circle, so are they. Remembering this is a sure-fire way to feel comfortable and confident when meeting new people.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, I wish you all the best of luck for your upcoming studies. Most of all, make the most of it and enjoy yourself, the time really does fly.