Jay Shakoor is a third year BSc (Hons) Psychology student at Birmingham City University.

“OH MY GOD YOU STUDY PSYCHOLOGY! What am I thinking now then?” is usually the response from everyone when asked, “What are you studying at uni?” Don’t get me wrong, university is an amazing experience, but the enjoyment in repetitive small talk about what you study wears thin very quickly when you’re trying to get to know new people. Even though the transition to university is very complex; moving in, making friends and, well, surviving is petrifying, but by the time you’re done reading this I’m sure you’ll feel just a little better.

“I am really worried about making friends. What happens if I don’t get on with my flatmates?”

This is unquestionably the first and most worrying issue at the start of a very exciting journey. But not to worry, everyone is in the same boat and just like high school and nursery, chances are you’ll meet your new best friend in your first few seconds of moving in.

Shut the front door, grab a cuppa and stop worrying, your very own agony aunt Jay is here to help (I think agony uncle is more appropriate). There are so many opportunities for you to make friends that when you look back and reflect, you’ll laugh at how worried you were.

First things first, the very first people you encounter when moving in are usually the ones who you remember so make sure you don’t leave your smile at home!!! Once mum and dad have moved those suitcases in, go and introduce yourself to your flat mate – I’m sure they don’t bite! Be friendly, make conversation and be confident when talking to your new flat mates, after all you’ll be living with them for the whole year.

Now lets think of the worse case scenario, say you move into your accommodation and your new flatmates were, let’s say aliens. Don’t fear, you have options and when you have options you have opportunities. There’s people in the next flat or people on your course, and remember all it takes is a smile!!! I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend you visit the fairs that your university host as this is a goldmine. You can join societies that cater to your hobbies, whether its sports, academics, personal interest, gaming and many, many more. This is where it really makes the difference.

Make the most of every person you meet. Go out and network. Even if you are someone like myself who was shy and nervous all the time, all it takes is a smile!!! Now look at me, I’m writing blogs and dishing out advice. If I can do it I know you can! I joined the football society and am now surrounded by loads of great friends.

So there’s no need to worry, the first five minutes are the most difficult but its at this stage of your life where, if an opportunity arises, you jump at it. Just remember to carry your smile everywhere. Enjoy and prosper.

Making the transition to university can be a big step at any age. That’s why our Student Services team offers Advice, Support and Knowledge on a wide range of issues. Find out more.

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