Ooh friend: Our back to basics guide on making friends at uni

Your first day at uni is not all that different from your first day in Kindergarten.

Often you don’t know anyone, are a little hesitant about the whole thing, and are paralysed by the exact same fear.

What if I don’t make friends?

But there’s no need to stress! Have a gander at this guide on some sure ways to make friends at UON.

Strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you in the lecture

Uni is a giant playground, filled with people just like you looking to make friends.

Your new best friend could be hidden in plain sight; sitting right next to you in your tutorial or lecture.

But you won’t know unless you start chatting to them!

As daunting and uncomfortable small talk can be at times, what have you got to lose?

And if you get stuck for talking points, EVERYBODY at UON can relate to being attacked by mosquitoes. Or not finding a park.

Hey look, you’ve got things in common already!

Join a club or society

N.U.D.E.S

Yes, there is a club called N.U.D.E.S. No – it’s not what you think.

The Newcastle University Diving and Exploration Society is just one of the many, many clubs and societies you can join at UON.

By joining a club you’re basically throwing yourself into a giant pool of a potential friends.

Amnesty International, hip hop, vegetarian, yoga, exchange student network, cheerleading, the Labor club, and mountaineering are just a few of the clubs you’re able to join. Not to mention the expansive number of sporting and religious groups too.

Most degrees also have their own society. Make sure to sign up as this is a great way to meet people studying the same degree as you and form lasting friendships.

“Before I studied I did a few years abroad. I spent a ski season in Canada. So when I came to UON and heard about the snow sport club I couldn’t believe it. [I] decided to get involved and it was a great decision,” said Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical)/Science student Rowan.

“You’ve just instantly got a million best friends. It’s so easy to make friends in a club, it’s such a family environment. Especially in the rugby and snow club. I instantly have a lot of friends,” he said.

Check out our full list of clubs and societies.

Volunteer

UON are always after more volunteers

Volunteering is not only a great way to meet people but you will also feel all warm and fuzzy for helping out your UON community. Not to mention it’s a great way to enhance your skill base and discover a new hobby.

Share your artistic talents by being the official photographer at uni events, or helping out at Watt Space.

You can also help out at charity events like the Biggest Morning Tea, get your hands dirty in the UON Community Garden, lend a hand at university activities and gigs, mentor new students or contribute to the student media on campus.

Bonus: volunteering looks great on your resume!

Bachelor of Communication student Nadene joined Yak Media as a way to make meet new people and gain some experience in media.

“In my first year I picked up Yak Magazine all the time and loved the idea of being able to write and gain experience in media not just while I was at uni, but even on the same campus I go to uni – two birds with one stone right there. Everything about it just seemed so cool and I wanted to get in on the coolness,” Nadene said.

“I love the exposure to the different responsibilities and roles I get from volunteering with Yak. The whole team is super nice so… I’m genuinely friends with all these people from different backgrounds. We all get to sit at a table together and discuss ideas and create this wonderful thing that gets shared with the rest of the university,” she elaborated.

Sign up to be a volunteer.

Step outside your comfort zone

Now I’m not saying go skydiving or something (that’s just crazy – who in their right mind jumps out of a plane with just the *hope* their parachute will deploy), but you should put yourself out there!

University is the time to try something new.

My motto: say yes to EVERYTHING. Even if you’re dreadful at said thing. Who knows where it might take you.

Last year I sang a parody of I’ll Make a Man Out of You from Mulan in front of 200+ people as part of a revue. Was it embarrassing? A little. Was it potentially the worst singing some people have heard in their lives? Probably. But did I have fun and make a tonne of new friends? Absolutely.

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One day you too could be doing karate dance moves on stage. This is the dream.

Be yourself

The University is home to over 40 000 students.

Chances are you will meet someone who will find your quirks endearing and share your passions.

So just keep on doing you. Everything else will fall into place.

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