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Arriving at university for the first time is both an exciting and daunting prospect. What, then, happens if upon moving in to your accommodation you’re greeted with a group of flatmates who seem to have no desire to socialise?
Here at Lancaster, the college system means that every flat is assigned a pair of freshers’ reps. Throughout Freshers’ Week, they will do their best to integrate everyone in the particular flat block they have responsibility for; however it may soon become clear there are those individuals who, for whatever reason, aren’t too bothered about getting involved in the various activities on offer in either the day or at night, and don’t take much of an interest in you.
This was the very situation I found myself in two years ago when I arrived at Lancaster. Having been assigned a flat in ‘Posh Pendle’, despite my best efforts to get to know my flatmates, it became clear rather quickly I had little in common with them. Sitting in deserted kitchen, with no sign of your roomies, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and start resigning yourself to the fact you’re going to be friendless and alone for the next three years.
If you find yourself in a similar sort of position to what I’ve described above, then please try and remember this is just the first week of your university experience. In terms of trying to remedy the situation, there are a few things you can do.
Firstly, don’t be afraid to go and knock on the doors of people in nearby flats. The flat across the quad from your own? There might be someone in the same set of circumstances. Secondly, when you do go to events in the day and on a night, talk to as many people as you possibly can. Add them on Facebook and get their phone number. Even if you never end up talking to them again, you’ve not lost anything by being friendly.
In addition, take advantage of Freshers’ Fair to sign up to any clubs and societies you are interested in. There are literally hundreds of societies on campus and you can be sure to find one or several where you’ll be able to meet like-minded individuals. Many societies also offer free taster sessions where you can see if their activities suit you, before paying their full membership fee.
Finally, bear in mind lectures and seminars offer the chance to meet your fellow course mates. Don’t be afraid to go and sit next to someone you’ve not met before – chances are they might be in the same position as you but were just too nervous to make the initial move.
Many people do meet their best friends at university by sharing a flat with them or by living in close proximity. But the vast majority of people don’t. My advice is this: throw your self in to as much as you possibly can. Speak to new people; make the most of all the opportunities on offer, and your time at Lancaster will undoubtedly be the best three years of your life.