Finding Your People

You shouldn’t feel disheartened if you don’t get along with your flatmates or don’t meet any coursemates straight away.

(Image: Holly Palmer)

The prospect of making new friends at university can be daunting. You read about people who met their best friends on day one but it’sactually really common to have difficulty finding ‘your people’; and you shouldn’t feel disheartened if you don’t get along with your flatmates or don’t meet any coursemates straight away. 


Even if you’re not the annoying messy housemate, you might still find it hard to make friends. Try to ask others to do stuff together, explore town, find ALDI for the first time, hang out on campus, bake together etc. Group activities, like movie nights or nights out, can also be fun. But genuinely, if you don’t end up best mates with someone in your flat, that’s perfectly normal and you will find your people somewhere else. 


It can be difficult to make coursemates. For me it always felt like people were rushing off right at the end of seminars and I had no idea how others were actually making friends with coursemates. Seminars and group work are great ways to chat to people and get to know them – you could suggest a library study session together or a chat about an upcoming essay. A good idea is to create a group chat for projects, or to chat about or split the reading, because even though it might not seem like it, everyone else wants to settle in just as badly as you do. 

Societies & Sports Teams 

The most common advice to make uni friends is to join a society, and honestly, it’s really good advice. Unlike with your flatmates, where random chance threw you together, societies build communities of people with at least one thing in common. Try joining a few different societies and meet a few different groups of people. If you don’t like the society then you don’t have to keep going, but you will have met a bunch of different people you have something in common with with relative ease. 

Part-time Work 

Surprisingly, getting a part-time job can be a great way to meet new people. In addition to making some money, you can use your job as a way to get to know your coworkers, which in many part time roles will also be students. This is a really good way to meet people that you wouldn’t have normally run into during your course or at societies. 

Non-campus Events 

One thing I don’t see encouraged enough in York is to branch out further than the university and campus. York has an amazing variety of community groups from zine-making, amateur drama, language exchanges, and everything else you can think of. You can meet people from different backgrounds and make friends with people other than fellow freshers. If you don’t find a community event or group in York that you love, try looking in Leeds. Having such a large city so close means that just for a mere 25 minute train journey, you can meet a whole new world of groups and people. 

In short, don’t worry if you don’t see eye to eye with your flatmates, or if you haven’t had the chance to talk to someone on your course. because there’s so many other groups out there that are the perfect places for meeting people and finding your friends!