Making friends at uni: your ultimate guide

Starting university can be daunting and you may feel like a bit of wall-flower but you're not alone!

It’s nearly time for your first year of uni to officially begin! You’ve packed your bags, set up a timetable and bought your stationary. But before you open your laptop or take a seat in the lecture hall, you might find yourself sitting around like a bit of a wallflower. And we get it – making friends at uni can be tough. Especially if you’ve moved to a new place, where you’re also surrounded by new people. But whether you like hanging out solo or you’re a social butterfly who isn’t quite sure where to start when it comes to making new friends, we’ve got some tips and ideas to make it easier.

1. Put yourself out there

Don't be shy. Saying hello is the first step toward making new friends.

Getting out of your comfort zone might be tricky but if you’re patient, you’ll find your fellow freshers are pretty open-minded. We welcome students from across the country and around the world. So, you’re sure to find people on your wave-length. Before classes even begin, you can meet new people at one of our Orientation events. No matter if you’re studying online or on campus, you’ll be able to interact with your new classmates in a multitude of ways. Orientation usually runs throughout the middle of February. It’s a chance to meet on the Library Lawn for Market Day in Bathurst or maybe play a game of Kahoot online. Every year is different, but your Orientation hub will have all the information you need.

Either way, there’ll be plenty of students around. And most of them are just as nervous and excited about making friends at uni as you are – so don’t be shy! Put yourself out there. It’s as easy as saying hello!

2. Don’t be afraid to show up

Did We Just Become Best Friends Did We Just Become Best Friends Meme GIF -  Did We

Every week we host plenty of events at all our campuses. From barbeques on the library lawn and dag night at Rafters, to the Queer Screen Film Festival and stargazing sessions. There really is something for everyone! And when it comes to making friends, all you need to do is show up – you’ll immediately be surrounded by potential pals who share you interests! Take a look at our Facebook and Instagram feeds and keep an eye on our events page to stay up-to-date. We put posters up around campus with information on things like exercise classes, belly dancing and even medieval sword training!

3. Join the club

Go sports!

Did you know there are dozens of clubs to join when you study at Charles Sturt? No matter what campus you’re on, you’ll find plenty of groups, full of like-minded people. And guess what? That’s an easy way to make a few new mates! Alongside our Student Representative Committee’s (SRC), which give you a chance to be a voice for your fellow students, each campus has a bunch of other clubs to join and enjoy. No matter if you’re into Bible studies, sports, politics, medicine or culture, we have something for you! So don’t be a stranger – sign up today.

4. Group assessments and classes

Best Friends Reaction GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants

We know what you’re thinking. How will assignments and classes help me with making friends at uni? While some courses won’t have group assignments or classes on campus, plenty will. And you’re in luck, because that’s the perfect opportunity for making friends at uni. If you can, why not come to campus for a lecture or tutorial? You’ll meet other students who share your interests, since you’re doing the same courses. Occasionally you’ll also get assigned random groups for projects. So, make the most of the opportunity and get to know your classmates. Grab a coffee, add each other on Snapchat, share a few funny study-related Tiktoks or go to Charlie’s for a sneaky treat to boost your energy! There are so many ways to turn an acquaintance into a friend!

And if you’re an online student, don’t worry. All of our classes have online forums for the thousands of online students who are just like you. You can jump on to ask questions, catch up on classes or meet new people, like other students or even your teachers. You can also join your course’s Facebook, Instagram or online groups. Or hit up our social media channels and stay in the loop with everything Charles Sturt. You can even reach out and build your own networks – we’ll be right behind you if you need us.

5. Make the most of your new town

Make friends with the locals, and learn all kinds of secrets.

There’s a big wide world outside your campus grounds! And each of our regional towns are welcoming, open and exciting to meet you. Don’t limit yourself to making new friends at uni on campus only. There are thousands of people living in Albury-WodongaBathurstDubbo, OrangePort Macquarie and Wagga Wagga, not to mention all the locals hanging out at towns and shires in between. No matter where you study, you can head into your nearest city and feel right at home. And who knows, maybe you’ll make friends with the townies and learn some local secrets. After all, they know the best places to eat. They can easily find hidden in-land rivers and streams for fishing and swimming. And they know all the secret hiking and walking tracks.

nbc handshake GIF by Brooklyn Nine-Nine

So what do you think? Making friends at uni doesn’t sound too bad, right? We know it can take time and you’ll definitely have to be patient while you find your feet. But it’ll be worth it! It all comes down to putting yourself out there. We know our students are awesome and that every one of you has an incredible story to share. So start by saying ‘hi’ and introducing yourself. Because who knows? You might make a friend for life!

And if you’re feeling unsafe or you need support, we’re here for you. Just reach out to our friendly team.

comedy central GIF by Workaholics