Societies & socialising

Making friends

Most new students worry about making friends when they move to university. While it is true everyone is in the same boat, not every boat is the same. So whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, living at home or moving away, here are some of my top tips on how to make friends.

Owen Liggins – 1st Year MChem Chemistry for Drug Discovery and Development
Start before you go

It is likely that once you have been assigned a flat, there will be a group chat you can join. Speaking online before you all get to uni allows you to find out what you have in common with your flatmates. If you are shy around new people, this could be a good way of making you more comfortable when you move in, as you will already have topics in mind for chatting in person.

Lend a helping hand

If you are one of the first people to move in, be sure to help out your flatmates. They are your term-time family so treat them just as you would treat your actual family. If you help them when they need it, they will be sure to help you when you need it too.

Always be open for a conversation

Keep your door open or spend time in the communal spaces. This not only shows your flatmates that they can pop their head in for a chat, but it also gives a good indication to your flatmates of when you are in so they can be sure to include you in any group activities they are doing.

If your flat/accommodation has public spaces use them

We all know the best way to watch your favourite movies and TV shows is in bed surrounded by snacks. But it is unlikely you are going to make friends at uni that way. Try spending some of your free time in your kitchen or living area instead. There will likely be people constantly coming and going so you can chat to anyone who pops in. Watching what you like in your shared space is also a great way of finding something you and your flatmates both enjoy.

Go to Freshers events

Attending freshers week events, even virtually, is a must! They will allow you to interact with different people, and perhaps find a society that suits you perfectly. I know the experience won’t quite be the same as you anticipated, but virtual and socially distanced events can still be great fun!

Join a sport or a society

With over 150 different societies ranging from Kofukan Karate to the British Sign Language society, no matter what you like, there is guaranteed to be a society that you would enjoy. Joining a society allows you to spend time doing something you enjoy with other like-minded people. This is great for making new friends and with lots of inter-society competitions and activities, it is also a good opportunity to take a break from university work.

Cup of tea anyone?

Whether your drink is tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or even a cold drink – when you make yourself a drink ask your flatmates if they would also like one. It may seem like a small gesture, but it will give you a good opportunity to chat, particularly if your flatmates are spending lots of time in their rooms.

Bake or bring something to share

The way to any students’ heart is good food. Bringing some food, be it homemade or shop-bought, to share on move-in day can be a great talking point. Baking is also a great team-building activity to help build friendships too so get creative!

Friends for life

You can start making friends before you arrive by registering with our Friends for Life initiative. Connect with other like-minded students waiting to join us at Lincoln by matching interests in topics like music, sport, film, or university clubs and societies.

Maintaining relationships

Your social life is going to change! You’ll be meeting more people than ever, and gaining new friends in all different kinds of groups.

For some, making friends or putting themselves out there is not as easy as it is for others. So, here are a few tips to help navigate making friends and maintaining those relationships.

Beck Morgan-Phillips – 3rd Year Communications and Public Relations
Don’t forget your friends have lives too!

It’s easy to become wrapped up in your own bubble when you get to uni, especially if none of your friends came with you. Therefore, it is essential to remember that your friends will have other things going on in their lives too – it’s all about compromise and communication. This is where having different groups of friends can come in handy. Also, staying in contact with your friends from home is a must – why not arrange a group video call?

Your uni friends will understand that you’re busy sometimes, and will totally get it if you want to go home for the weekend. You don’t need to be afraid that you’re missing out on anything, and should understand that there are things you won’t be able to do, and that is okay!

Find activities that interest everyone

It’s important that everyone in your friendship group feels comfortable. Make a list of all the fun group activities in your area and see which of them everyone wants to do.

It’s always good to switch up what you do together every now and then!

Resolving conflict
Take responsibility

Part of being an adult is owning up to your mistakes. Knowing how you have contributed to an argument or conflict is a good way to be able to work on how to move forward. People are more likely to listen to your grievances if you can take responsibility for your own actions and see how you’ve hurt them as well. Living in such close quarters with other people you need to have a good level of self-awareness.

Respect others

Not everyone is going to like you, and you’re not going to like everyone. That’s just the way the world works. But maintaining respect for each other, even if your personalities clash is a must. Approach people that you have a conflict with in a non-confrontational way and listen to what they’re saying – this should prevent any escalation.

Building confidence

Confidence is a weird concept. It comes in so many different forms and is interpreted differently by everyone. Some people are naturally confident, whereas some people just aren’t – and that’s okay! Here are some ways of developing and building confidence whilst at Uni.

Ben Cartwright – MA Journalism
Get involved

One of the best ways to gain confidence is to fully immerse yourself in your studies. Whether that be a presentation you’re dreading or an interview you’re nervous about, giving it everything you’ve got can make a world of difference. The situation itself might not be something you’re particularly comfortable with, but giving it 100% means you’re less likely to worry about it. Even if you don’t do as well as you hoped, the lessons you take from it will be invaluable. They will help you become more confident in the future, so the next time you have to do another presentation you’ll know exactly what to do.


You have to believe in yourself.

If you struggle with your confidence, try and take time to think about what you’re good at then find ways of using those skills, because putting yourself out there doing what you love will do wonders for your confidence. Now, it’s important to remember that you aren’t going to be great at everything – but the things you are good at, celebrate!

If you’re having trouble, write down five things that you’re good at or enjoy doing. Having belief in your abilities is a great feeling and it’ll help you so much over your time at university!

Believe in others

Confidence doesn’t always come from self-belief. Having confidence in other people is just as important – especially when in a working environment. Not only will it mean you don’t have to worry about someone doing their job properly, but it’ll also mean that you create mutual respect for one another – ‘you trust me, so I trust you’.

Having confidence and belief in one another can help boost your own confidence, as well as that of others. If you’re in a creative or collaborative industry, belief in others can give you lots of different opportunities – for example, if someone is looking for an editor, you could recommend someone you have worked with because they’re great at what they do. Not only is that going to make them feel fantastic, but it’ll also make you feel great too, as you’ve helped a friend.

Stepping out of your comfort zone

Stepping outside of your usual routine can open different doors for you. You don’t have to take any big steps either! It can be something as simple as introducing yourself to your new flatmates, and the people in your class. It could be attending that one social your society is throwing. Or perhaps, putting down your devices for the day and exploring your new city. It could be anything that breaks up the monotony of your usual routine. Whilst it is good to be comfortable, you’ll benefit from meeting these new people and trying different activities.

Some of us have extra concerns or hurdles regarding mental health, so remember there are always people to talk to on campus if you feel you need to, and they are always there to help.

Student Wellbeing online skills groups

The Student Wellbeing Centre will be running various workshops and skills groups throughout the year including, the Wellbeing Café, Breakfast Club, Relationship Skills group, Confidence Skills group and Fresh Start workshop to help you transition into university life.


Online dating & staying safe

You will meet lots of new people at university some of which will be online. If you are using online dating apps make sure to stay safe while using them.

If you’re ever worried about one of your friends or housemates take a look at this guide.

Students’ Union

Joining a society

Here’s why you should join a society this semester…

Charlotte Emily Price – Forensic Science graduate
There is something for everyone

Whether you have a passion for a sport, the arts or want to try something new, there is a huge range of societies that students have set up for you to choose from. From Football to Musical Theatre, Disney to Gaming, you are bound to find something that sparks your interest.

They can help you with your studies

Not only are societies great for being enjoyable, but there are actually some societies available for specific courses. This could be great if you’re looking to expand your knowledge further and want to invest time into really working on your degree. You could even join a subject society that doesn’t relate to your course!

Meet new people and make new friends

Societies are a great way to connect with new people. If you are looking to socialise, make friends for life and become part of a community, joining an SU society is the way to go!

Build new skills and enhance your CV

The final and additional benefit of joining a society this semester would definitely be the skills you can add to your CV or LinkedIn profile. Whether you become the club’s vice-president, host a social event or improve your communication skills, all of the above are great to pop on your CV.

Here’s an activity to get you thinking about what you can do:

  • Grab a pen and paper, and draw a line vertically down the centre.
  • On one side, write a list of things that interest you now/stuff you like.
  • On the other side, write a list of things that you’ve always wanted to try.
  • Go to the SU website and check out the list of societies they have.
  • Pick a society that matches ONE thing from each list (so 2 societies overall).
  • And finally, GO to a taster session, just one, just to see if you like it.

Becki Morgan-Phillips – 2nd Year Communications and Public Relations

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