Settling in

Top tips for making friends in first year

The initial awkwardness is just like ripping a plaster off, a little painful at first but you'll soon be settled and having the time of your life.

There are loads of ways to meet people at University, whether that's through your accommodation, your course, student groups or even just meeting people on a night out! 

First things first: accommodation.

For most freshers the first opportunity to make friends will be move in day. Remember that everybody is in the same boat - just be yourself and try to be as friendly as possible! 

Advice: People come from across the world to come to Portsmouth and part of making friends at University is accepting that everybody is different. Embrace those differences and learn from the people around you, one of the best things about University is that opens your mind. 

Your next opportunity? Inductions.

If your course has a large yearly intake you may find yourself in a lecture hall with hundreds of people. Other courses are much smaller and you'll only have around 20-30 people in a room with you at once. 

Both can bring their own challenges, the bigger courses leave you not knowing where to start and smaller courses may make you feel as though there is little choice of who to make friends with. There's not a huge rush to make friends on your course, take it slowly and just be you


  • Start with choosing someone to sit next to and start a conversation with them. Over the course of the year you'll probably end up in seminars with a smaller groups of people and you'll slowly find the people that you socialise with more. 
  • Get to know people in your seminars, they'll be having hand in's at similar times which means they will be feeling stressed when you are and make good people to talk to if you're ever feeling overwhelmed.
  • Try getting involved in your lectures and seminars. Put your hand up and offer arguments to theories, not only will it help propel your learning but it might lead to you connect with someone over a shared opinion. 

Expanding your circle: sports groups and societies

Taking part in a sports group or society helps to expand your circle of friends and is a way for you to meet likeminded people. The friends you make through student groups may provide an outlet away from the pressures of your course or living accommodation, leaving you to focus on socialising and have a good time! 

Advice: Freshers' Fayre is a great opportunity to see the range of student groups and societies on offer and a way to meet new people. It is taking place on Wednesday the 20th of September and Thursday the 21st of September at Ravelin Park from 10am.  

Our Advice team provide a mediation service if you have any disputes with friends along the way, they also offer advice about housing and academic issues.  


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