By Tilly Rose
Ok, let me start this by stressing, if you are freaking out about Freshers' you are 100% not alone! If you're anything like me, you'll be filled with a strange mix of nerves and excitement, creating a constant flutter of butterflies in your tummy. You're leaving home for the first time, moving to a new city, with new people, studying a new course. New is always scary and you're facing so many new scenarios. But remember, it's not just new for you. It's new for every freshers starting this term. Everyone is nervous (some people are just better at hiding it!) and everyone wants to make friends. With this slightly odd mix this year of online and offline events, I can understand how bonding with people might seem more daunting but honestly, Covid or not, everyone stresses about this. What you need to realise is, if you feel this way, so does every single person you bump into.
All you need are a few little tricks to get that convo flowing. It might sound basic but when people are nervous, they often forget these basic skills: 1. Smile - a smile immediately conceals all those nerves and makes you warm, friendly and inviting! Whatever is going on inside your head, put a big smile on your face when you meet people and not only will you look approachable but it also helps to make you feel more confident. 2. Go up to people - walking up to a group of people or even just one person you don't know can feel terrifying. The main thing I used to think, is what will I say to them? Now, when I turn up to any event, I start with the smile, then head over and the conversation goes something like: 'Hi I'm Tilly, what's your name?' 'Hi I'm Fred' 'Good to meet you,' The ice has now been broken and it's time for the questions! 3. Go-to questions - people are often pretty good at talking about themselves (lol) but often forget to ASK anything. Be the person who asks and you'll get the conversation flowing. For Freshers' Week, have these questions up your sleeve and ready to go whenever you meet anyone new: What are you studying? Where do you live outside of uni? What halls are you in? What clubs & societies are you thinking of joining? What have you been up to this summer? 4. Tea & biscuits - bring a stash with you and instantly you have a reason to invite people to your room. At the beginning it can feel a little odd saying 'want to come to my room' but saying 'want to come for a cup of tea?' has a purpose, a total game changer. 5. A door stop - essential for making friends in Freshers'. If your door is closed, nobody knows you're there. When you're up for socialising, wedge it open and then you can smile, wave and invite people who pass by in! Try not to put too much pressure on Freshers' Week itself, some people find their group straight away, for others it happens later in term but you WILL find your people!