The big step from high school to university can be intimidating, especially if your friends go to a different uni than you.

So if you are finishing school and about to go it alone – let me start by saying: GO YOU! It takes some serious courage to start a new chapter of your life independently and you will definitely grow as a person and benefit from your decision – trust me, I’ve been there!

Here are a few things to remember that might make it a little easier for you:

Most people are probably in the same boat as you.

I can guarantee, you are not the only person that has turned up alone to your first lesson of the semester. On my first day of university, I walked into a massive lecture hall and felt intimidated and vulnerable as I walked down the stairway, looking for an empty seat. Then I saw someone that looked just as alone and anxious as me so I took it upon myself to go and introduce myself. A whole semester later, we are still good friends. If you are in a class with someone, it means that they probably have similar career goals and interests as you, so breaking the ice with a question about what they hope to get out of their degree is a great way to start if you don’t know what to say. You never know, that ‘small talk’ ice-breaker chat about your business degree could turn out to be the first of many conversations with your life-long best friend. Take a chance and go for it!

Where can I make friends?

This was my question when I took my first step on campus and already saw little groups of people chatting as if they already knew each other. My first piece of advice would be to go and sit next to someone in your lectures or tutorials and introduce yourself, particularly in the first few weeks when everyone is trying just as hard to make friends as you are. If that doesn’t feel right for you, joining a club or sports team is a great way to make friends. I am a part of the Journalism and Media Society at my university and they often have small get togethers – a perfect opportunity for making new friends.

Don’t Stress!

If you get to university on your first day and you are already feeling overwhelmed – don’t worry! There is no rush when it comes to making friends. You don’t have to be the most popular girl on campus at the end of day one (or ever, for that matter!) So don’t rush or force the friend making process. Focus on adjusting to your university lifestyle and doing what makes you happy and you’ll be making friends in no time.