If you’re coming to University alone then you’re probably a little bit scared that you’re not going to know anyone and you’re going to spend all year sat in your room sobbing quietly into your Netflix subscription whilst everyone else is out and about having all the fun. Well don’t panic! We’re here to help! You too can be the life and soul of the party (unless you want to sit in your room, which is fine too).
There’s a lot of information here, and if you don’t feel like you have time to read it then that’s fine – just remember these two vital points:
- Everyone is feeling the same as you, even if they’re not showing it.
- Be yourself. You’re much better at it than anyone else.
Right, now we’ve got all that covered, let’s get right down to the specifics. There are an absolute ton of events going on all over campus to help you socialise, and there’s plenty you can do to meet folk too.
In your Accommodation
It’s far too easy to arrive at your room, unpack your stuff and get straight onto Snapchat to your friends back home. Everyone’s been there. But there are a whole bunch of new friends just waiting for you to say hello. So…
To everyone, especially when you first arrive. Other freshers, returning students, even staff and helpers – you never know when a friendly hello might lead to a lifelong friendship. Asking where people are from and what they’re studying is usually a good way to start a longer conversation, and if you see someone struggling with their bags or looking a little lost why not see if you can help? And don’t forget to find out where people live or get their phone number / Facebook details so you can get in touch later.
After the buzz and chaos of moving in day the next thing you’ll want to do is settle down in your own little flat, and get to know the people there. Here are a few ideas that might help…
Everyone loves to eat, and it can be a little bit depressing sitting down to a flavourless ready-meal on your first night here. Why not round up everyone in your flat and go out for tea, or get a takeaway in? We have some lovely places to eat right here on campus and the choice of takeaways in the area is immense. Some of our favourites are Dope Burger on Beverley Road, Heiseya on Exmouth Street (that one’s a bit of a hidden gem, and despite what Facebook says it’s not just sushi) and Dirty Bird on Newland Avenue, but there’s plenty more to choose from.
And if you’re going around knocking on people’s doors to try and drag them out then the offer of tea and / or biscuits is, in our experience, likely to have a largely positive effect.
Apart from Will in the office who is notoriously miserable and you wouldn’t want to be friends with anyway, we don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a good evening of board games. So if you’ve got a Monopoly or Snakes and Ladders set stashed away at home, why not dig it out and make an evening of it? You could even organise an inter-flat tournament to really get the network going.
If you don’t have any board games, or you don’t have space to bring them, don’t panic. You’ll almost certainly be able to pick up something in a charity shop on Newland Avenue (the dice which has all 3s and the missing instructions will only make it more fun) or there’s the lovely Board Room Cafe, which has lots for you to play whilst you’re having a delicious coffee and cake.
On Your Course
Chances are your course will have organised some kind of meet and greet or social events, so you can get to know your colleagues both in your year and those that have been here a while. Go to these! Hopefully by this point you’ll be bezzie mates with your flatmates and not really want to go see a bunch of other people, but you’ll be working with them for at least the best part of three years, and it’s really good to have a broad base of friends so you have someone to rant at when THERE’S NO MILK IN THE FRIDGE AGAIN!
Be sure to make the most of them – talk to as many people as you can, ask lots of questions (second years will almost certainly have some nuggets of wisdom they wish people had shared with them) and if you see someone sat alone in the corner go introduce yourself.
There is a vast amount of sport you can get involved with here at Hull; it can be a great way to meet new people that otherwise you would have just passed in the street.
Now there’s a disclaimer on this one: we’ve always been head-down, blast through it type gym users, and even if we were capable of speaking after half an hour of spin it seems very unlikely that anyone would want to get close enough to our panting, sweating selves to do so. BUT there are plenty of less intense classes you can get involved with, and there are plenty of opportunities to chat before and after sessions so if you bump into someone with similar interests (‘oh hey! I see you are lifting weights! I like to lift weights also, shall we be friends?’) and the opportunity to start a conversation without being creepy or invasive arises then go for it.
If you’re already a sporty type then there are plenty of clubs and teams you can join, and the bond you can form as part of a close-knit sports team can be pretty amazing. But if you’re not super competitive but still want to get involved then we have another option…
Campus Sport is a fantastic initiative that runs all sorts of turn-up-and-play sessions on campus. There’s no subscription fee, you just turn up, pay the (very reasonable) fee and play. There are far too many to list here but we’d suggest having a look at the Campus Sport website and having a go at as many as you can – you never know, you might find a new hobby that eats up all your free time. The beauty of it is that you’ll meet different new people at every session, and you’re just bound to get on great with some of them.
There are a LOT of societies you can join around the university, from Accounting to Zoology (and lots inbetween). You’ll probably see lots of them (and possibly join them even though you have no intention of ever actually attending) at various WelcomeFest events but why not actually go to some and see what happens? You might not fall in love with Vegan Basket Weaving (Ok, that one’s not real) but you just might bump into a kindred spirit.
You’ve probably heard lots about WelcomeFest already, so we won’t go on about it too much – other than to say that it’s a magnificent way to meet lots and lots of new people, and probably get really drunk with them. Just make sure that you actually make the most of all the events – go to as many as you can, maybe even ones you wouldn’t bother with usually, but make an effort to chat to people while you’re there.
So there you have it – a veritable smorgasbord of ways you can meet new people and hopefully sow the seeds of life long friendships in your first few weeks here at Hull. Just remember that you’re in for the long haul and everyone else is as nervous as you are, so if you don’t feel like you fit in straight away give it a little time, follow some of the tips above and we’re sure you’ll find your place in no time.