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How to make friends at university

A huge part of university living is meeting people from all walks of life and making new friends. But the experience of making friends isn't the same for everyone and it doesn't always happen overnight. Whether you recently moved to London or you're looking to expand your group of friends, we know this may come with worries about putting yourself out there or finding your kind of people... but we promise, it's easier than you think.

University friends can be for life, so here are our top 10 tips for making new friends and widening your friendship circle in London:

1) Embrace your shared accommodation

If you chose to live in London student housing where you're currently sharing a bathroom, kitchen or even a bedroom, it's the perfect chance to make new friends in your flatmates. Natural opportunities will present themselves to hang out within your shared living spaces, or here are some suggestions to create your own opportunities:

 -  Offer to cook a meal together in your shared kitchen
 -  Offer to walk to uni or the shops together
 -  Offer to do your laundry at the same time
 -  Ask for Netflix recommendations to watch on your communal TV
 -  Ask if anyone fancies hanging out in the communal areas or at an event

2) Join group chats

If you haven't already checked out some Facebook groups for local students, this is a great way to make new friends in London. You'll find groups for your course, student halls or university in general, as a handy way of introducing yourself and planning meet-ups with students you haven't had the opportunity to meet in person. There will also be plenty of Whatsapp, WeChat and Instagram group chats that you can join, so you'll always be involved and in the know.

3) Keep your door open

We highly recommend investing in a doorstop for your student accommodation, as keeping your room door open is super useful for meeting and making friends with your flatmates, plus other students on your floor. People will be way more likely to pop their head in and say hi if your door's open, as a closed door suggests that you might not want to talk to anyone at that time. 
4) Say yes to invitations

You’ll probably receive invitations to a bunch of campus events, parties, academic meetings and even personal gatherings. Even though it might seem intimidating to rock up alone if you don't know many people, you’ve got nothing to lose by saying yes... And you never know where you’ll meet your new best friend or have an unforgettable new experience. Here's our top 5 conversation openers to try:

 -  Where are you from?
 -  What are you currently studying?
 -  What kind of music do you like?
 -  Do you listen to any podcasts?
 -  Are you a cat or dog person?

5) Sit next to people in classes

Don't be scared to sit next to and introduce yourself to people in your tutorials, seminars and lectures - these are the perfect places to meet new friends with the same academic mindset. Having some coursemates will also be super useful if you happen to miss a lecture or can't remember what the homework was.

6) Hang out in the communal areas

Staying alone in your room or hiding in the library helps when you're studying, but not when you're trying to make new friends. So try hanging out in your shared kitchen, living room or any of the communal areas in your university or student accommodation. It's likely people will constantly be coming and going, so you can put yourself out there and start a conversation with anyone who pops in. Why not challenge them to a game of pool or table tennis? 

7) Invite people out to lunch

A great way to make friends with people on your course is by suggesting going for a bite to eat after class. This is the perfect way to get to know someone better (and their lunch order), plus you can have different lunch buddies for each class. People will appreciate you reaching out, and they'll no doubt prefer it to eating by themselves.8) Attend organised events

Your university, course and student halls will throw tonnes of events throughout the year - from nights out to cultural celebrations, and wellness sessions to development workshops. While not all events may be for you, we recommend using these opportunities to socialise and engage with some friendly faces. When at an event, also make sure to talk to different people as well as the ones you arrived with.

9) Join clubs & societies

University clubs and societies are really great ways to make new friends because they’re free, lots of fun and bring people with common interests together. Most universities have literally hundreds of clubs and societies, from sports and music, to politics and even Harry Potter... so you're bound to find one or two that tickle your fancy.

10) Organise a study group

Long hours in the library can get lonely, so why not rally some of your coursemates together to make a study group? Ask around in lectures or after seminars to see who would like to join - not only is it sociable, but studying in a group environment makes learning much more fulfilling and enjoyable.So there we have it, our top 10 tips for making friends at your London university. We're sure you'll be handing out friendship bracelets in no time! If you have any other tips worth sharing, let us know @chapterldn.

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