Making friends and finding your people

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One of the best things about university is that it’s a chance to reinvent yourself. You’re probably moving away from home and entering an entirely new environment. Settling in and looking for new friends can be daunting and awkward. But just remember, everyone is in the same boat! That’s what makes it so easy to make friends; everybody’s looking for them!

In the beginning, you’ll be telling people your name, what your course is, and where you’re from over a thousand times. It’s so simple, but it’s a great way to break the ice.

Relax, and remember these tips on how to get meeting new people when you arrive.

Say Hello

Just do it! Jump right in! Don’t be afraid to say hi to everybody you come across. Whether you’re waiting in the queue to grab a coffee, in your induction class, or moving into your new halls – get chatting to people and find some common ground with them. If you hit it off then add them on Facebook or swap numbers for WhatsApp, so you can keep in touch later on and arrange to meet up.

In Halls

Prop open your door while you’re unpacking your stuff so, your new neighbours know you’re in. Invite them in to see your room, or offer to lend them a hand with unpacking. Arrange to have some well-earned drinks in your halls lounge after all the hard work of moving in is done!

If people in your corridor/flat haven’t adopted the open-door system, knock on their door and introduce yourself. It gest easier after the greetings are out of the way!

But I’m not Living in Halls!

It might seem like it at first, but not everybody is living in halls! Every student at Heriot-Watt is a member of the Student Union. So you’re invited to all our Freshers events on campus too. You can also join our virtual halls on Facebook so you won't miss out on anything. In Edinburgh? Join here! Or if you're at SBC this is the group for you! Just make sure you make an extra effort to participate and get chatting to people!

Freshers Week

Freshers Week is naturally a great way to meet new people with all the various events happening. We've got some in-person events planned as well as a bunch of online ones too. You'll get to interact with real-life human beings! (Don't worry it's been a while for everyone!). 

We're running Tea @ 3 events throughout the week. They're the perfect events to enjoy a cuppa and natter away. Take a look at the rest of our events here. The list is updated regularly, so check back often!

If you have to miss Freshers Week, don’t worry because you’ll get to catch up with everybody once the semester starts. With society events and different elective class-groups, you’ll be making friends just as quick.

Buddy Up

All you need is just one person you get along with. Maybe you’ll meet them in halls, or during your course induction; from there the two of you can go to events together, and bring each other when you’re invited to things. Ta-da – your social circle has expanded!

They’re also a very welcome face when you’re late to a lecture and you need to know where to sit!

Your Course

You are obviously coming to university to study! Your course will give you fantastic opportunities to meet people who are into the same things as you. Tutorials and lectures are a great way to get chatting to people, so make that effort on day one. There are also opportunities for group work in a lot of courses; which is a great chance to work together.

Get Involved

It’s not all deadlines and lectures! You’ll have more free time than you realise, so fill it with fun, exciting, and rewarding activities!

Our Freshers Fair, or the Watt Welcome Fair as you'll also hear it call, will take place on Friday. It's the perfect way to find out what clubs and societies are on offer at Heriot-Watt. You never know, maybe you'll find life-long friends in the Medieval Society. Or maybe your new bestie was part of Pole Dance all along!

Whatever the case, clubs and societies are a brilliant way to explore new or existing interests. And you get to meet new people who you already have stuff in common with! Check out our current list of societies here and keep an eye out for their first session so you can pop along. 

Can’t make it? Message or email the society about wanting to come along – they’ll be happy to have you! And don't forget, if there isn't a society for you, you can start one yourself!

Maybe you want to be involved in the Union and making the Uni better for you and other students from the get-go. Volunteer or join one (or all) of our Student Groups, meet people, develop important skills, and make a difference! By getting involved and volunteering you'll also bank hours that will show on your Exam Transcripts. Stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs.

If sport is more your scene, then check out the Sports Union clubs on offer too. Try a taster session during Freshers Week and continue playing the games you love or find something new to be passionate about! From Frisbee and Gaelic Football to Fencing and Snowsports, they've got it all!

It’s understandable if all the new people tire you out or leave you feeling overwhelmed, so find a balance that works for you. You’ll pick up friends either way!

GET A HEADSTART

Make sure you've joined our Official Freshers Facebook Group as well as your Halls group. Introduce yourself, and start making friends!

Check out these other groups too!:

International Students - hwunion.com/inter

Postgraduate Students - hwunion.com/post

Direct Entry Students - hwunion.com/direct

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