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We Support Your Ambition: My uni buddy

It is an exciting time when you’re starting in a new place, however, it can be intimidating when trying to make new friends. With this in mind, we decided to speak to a few of our students to find out how they met their best friends whilst studying with us and what tips they would give to new students to break the ice.

By Elsa Tatam. Published 14 February 2023. Last updated 14 August 2023.

Aysha Khan

Tell us how you first met

“I met her on my first day. She walked in late after everyone had already been introduced and I didn't want her to feel left out. During our break, I sat down next to her and asked for her name, how she was, and if she was excited about her course. I knew I made a friend the second she said, "Yeah, but I'm more excited about living here". I understood exactly what she meant and immediately knew I could relate to this girl.


What makes you friends?

“What makes our friendship so strong is the fact that I can completely trust her. I don't trust people easily and she is the only person in my life I can fully trust. We also both have the same sense of humour- none of my other friends outside of uni has this sense of humour so I know it's not common. The fact that she laughed with me and made jokes herself told me she wouldn't ever judge me and would laugh alongside me. This formed a bond which solidified our friendship.


What advice would you give new students nervous about making friends at university?

“Speaking and listening to people goes a long way. Try talking to as many people as you can in the first few weeks and see who you feel more connected with. Just ask how they're doing and what they’re up to. If you are shy, don't worry about it because I can guarantee that everyone else will be shy and nervous too. This is a new experience for them too, so feeling nervous is completely normal. A simple 'Hi' will suffice and it will build from there. I said “Hi” to my friend and now she's my friend for life.”


What tips would you give to help make friends in your first two weeks?

“Try to find some common ground. If you find out you like the same thing as someone else, you instantly have something you can connect with. Another tip is to be open and not judge someone. Sometimes we don't realise that we judge, and it can come out of our mouths the wrong way. If someone wants to talk, let them talk and be polite and listen. Just listening tells them you can be a friend to them. A final tip is to ask them if they want to get some lunch together- eating together builds up great conversations and you have now made a friend.”


What is your favourite ‘ice-breaker’ when meeting new people?

“Honestly, just asking how their weekend was. People love to talk about things they’ve gotten up to and immediately the ice has broken when they can talk about something specific.”


Muhammad Nazakat

Tell us how you first met

“I met my best friend at university during my first week on campus. We were both getting our university student cards and happened to be in the same group. We struck up a conversation, and I could tell right away that we had a lot in common. We both loved hiking, reading, and trying new foods, so we exchanged numbers and made plans to hang out later that week.”


What makes your friendship so strong?

“Since we first met, our friendship has only grown stronger. We've explored the city together, tried out new restaurants, and even started a hiking club on campus. We also make sure to attend all the social events and gatherings organised by our dorm, which has been a great way to meet other students and expand our social circle.”

What your advice be to new students who are worried about making friends?

“My advice for meeting new people and making friends at university is to be open and approachable. Don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone new, whether it's in a class, a club, or at a social event.”


What are your top tips for meeting new people in the first two weeks?

“My top tip for meeting new people in the first two weeks is that you never know who you might meet and how that connection might grow into a lasting friendship. And remember, everyone else is in the same boat as you, so don't be shy about putting yourself out there.”


What is your favourite ‘ice-breaker’ when meeting new people?

“Just introduce yourself and say what course you’re studying, then ask them the same question.”


Check out our We Support Your Ambition page for more information about student life and support services. You can also check out our Facebook campus groups to help you get to know other new students ahead of your start date.