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Making Friends at University

Starting university is daunting for everyone, especially if you've taken the leap to move country as well. Here's Canadian student Manasa's guide to making friends. Hint: don't over-complicate it!

Making friends

The transition from high school to university can be frightening. Leaving the place you knew for so long to go to an unfamiliar environment is scary for everyone and you are not alone! Each situation is very different for everyone, but a lot of people leave home and travel quite a distance to university.

A new home as well as a new university

So, it’s not just adjusting to a university life that can be tough, but also adjusting to a new home. It may also feel very lonely at times, but rest assured, as the year goes on, you’ll be surprised as to how much will change!

With so many new things to handle, making friends can be super daunting and leave you intimidated at times. I know I was. Sometimes, I found myself not even wanting to go out because meeting new people was so nerve-racking. One of the best things about university is the friends made and throughout the year, I’ve found ways to make great friends that don’t have to be scary.

student with backpack

Don't overcomplicate it

This is such a simple way to make friends but it’s easy to overcomplicate it. Simply come to the same place every day. Let me explain. If you have in-person classes, go to them. Go to the library. Go to the café. Go to that society. Just find a place that you can frequent often if not every day.

You may not think that friends can be made this way, but if you think about it, your friends in high school are your friends because you came to class everyday! With that same principle, I was able to make friends because I showed up to the library every day. Don’t worry about approaching someone or forcing yourself to talk about anybody, friends will naturally happen.

smiling group of women


Another way to make friends is through Instagram! When you first register at Queen's, search for their first-year page on Instagram and follow people who are following the same profile. You’ll often get added to a first-year group chat or a first-year group chat for your course and you can easily talk to people on that! I ended up meeting about 5 people this way. Technology can help!

Screengrab of our insta social wall

See the latest #LoveQUB posts

Just say hi!

This last one can be scary at first, but it’s a great skill to acquire and it is to just say hi! This is what a lot of advice pages will probably say but I can tell you it works. I was walking home from one of my classes and I noticed a student that was in the same class. Now, I’m usually too nervous to say hi, but that day, I just decided to walk to her and say hello, and she was very happy to talk!

Hello sign

We ended up talking all the way back to our accommodation and made plans to hang out the next day. She is now a very good friend of mine and I’m so glad that I decided to say hi that day. Overcoming that initial hesitation is key to making great friends in university because that will open so many new and amazing experiences for you. Don’t let a little nervousness keep you from having a great uni life!

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Manasa Ramakrishna

Medicine | Undergraduate Student | Canada

I’m a 20-year-old international student from Canada and currently studying Medicine. I figured the best way to combine my love for science, travelling and working with people would be to do international medicine. Outside school, I do classical dance, sculpture and biking!

Manasa Ramakrishna