Your University Questions, Answered.
I won't be clubbing or drinking in Freshers' week because of religious reasons. I'm worried I won't make any friends.
Not to worry, there are plenty of ways to meet new people and make friends. It’s natural to feel a bit nervous meeting new people, but just remember everyone is in the same boat. Strike up conversations with your fellow students and embrace the events/opportunities that are of interest to you.
Here are my top picks for making friends:
- Break the ice – chat, chat, chat. Strike up conversations with your fellow course members, new housemates, fellow students. It’s not easy striking up a conversation with someone you don’t know, but introduce yourself and find out their interests and take it from there. UEA has a friendly campus atmosphere for you to embrace and be a part of.
- Clubs/Societies - Check out your uni's societies, and find those of interest. UEA has over 200 clubs/societies that you can be a part of, which are run by your fellow students. You can sign up/chat with the societies at the Societies Fair which will be in Freshers' week, which I highly recommend attending. The societies run 'Give it a Go' sessions throughout the year to allow you to try something new and meet new people from a range of the societies.
- Attend Events – There will be a range of events on offer to you in your first months, and your university life as a whole. Attend those that are of interest to you or try something new. You can go alone and meet new people at the event, or go with a group of friends.
- Is Sport your thing? – Your university will most likely have its own sports teams and events that you can get involved with. UEA has a great Sportspark on campus which has facilities and sessions for you to join in with and meet like-minded students, along with the sport societies and clubs you can join.
- Is Music your thing? – Alongside the Music Societies, UEA has a Music Centre which is the home of UEA Choir, UEA Symphony Orchestra and UEA Chamber Choir, which you can audition to be a part of, and mingle with fellow musicians and make friends, plus practice room facilities to practice your talent. If you don’t play or sing but enjoy live music, then there are plenty of gigs happening on campus and around Norwich. Look out for gigs and concerts in your area.
- Multifaith Centre – Your university may have its own spiritual meeting place where you can worship, relax and socialise with like-minded people. UEA has a Multifaith Centre in the middle of campus. It houses a comfortable common room, large worship room for groups to pray, and a quiet room for individual quiet time. It welcomes the UEA community to use its facilities.
Have a look at current student blogs to hear what their life is like here at UEA. In particular check out Nina in her Vlog, addressing the anxieties about going to university, as she mentions her experience of making friends.
Hope you enjoy your university experience, embrace the opportunities, and meet people along the way!