How to Make Friends in University as a Fresher

by op-ed contributor

You walked down the hallway to attend your first lecture at the university. You were so excited and enthusiastic for a new life; new classmates, or better put, coursemates, new classes and new friends. New friends? How do you make friends in university? With no one to guide you? How?

Chill. Do not feel overwhelmed. I’m here to make that phase of your life easier. I was once in a similar situation. To make matters worse, I was an introvert. So you are probably thinking of how to make the move or approach a person. After all, it’s your first time away from home in a different place with many decisions ahead, and making friends seems to be topping the list at the moment. 

Making friends in university in your first year is not easy, but it is a step that you cannot skip. It wouldn’t be nice if you passed through school and the school didn’t pass through you. Making friends in your first year is one way to achieve that. So sit tight and read on because I am going to share with you the tested and trusted tips to make friends in university in your first year.

5 Tips to Make Friends in University in Your First Year

  1. Smile

Permit me to say that a smile is the most powerful tool to make friends in university in your first year. That little stretch you make with your lips can naturally attract people to you. Since you find it hard to make the first move towards making friends in your first year, you can make a memorable first impression by smiling. 

Smiles automatically draw friends close to you. It makes you look welcoming, approachable and beautiful/handsome. There may be people that are attracted to someone that frowns, but it’s not common. People bear too much burden individually. It will do a lot of good to ease that weight with a smile and watch them become your friends.

  1. Join a club

What is your interest? What is your area of speciality? There would be a club for that in university. Join one. If there isn’t, create one. I bet someone in school has that same interest. It doesn’t hurt. 

With this brilliant initiative, you can make friends in university in your first year. Not just friends, but friends that share the same interest with you. How does that sound?

Read also: How to make the most of university as a Nigerian undergraduate

  1. Friends of friends

One major and popular way to make friends in university in your first year is by relating with friends of friends. It’s an easy way to expand your network. 

Permit me to share a story with you.

Before leaving for school for the first time, a friend of mine called her friend who was in the same school. She told her about my admission and intended resumption date. Her friend collected my number and turned out to be a very helpful asset throughout my university.

Here’s another method for the friend of friends approach. Imagine you already have a friend in school. On a certain day, on your way back home, someone walks up to both of you. Your friend says to you after sharing pleasantries with the person, “Hey Joy, meet Anita from your department. Although she is in her final year.” You guys start discussing some courses, lectures, and even departmental cultures, and Boom! You’ve made another friend. 

One thing I like about this method is you get to be friends with people of diverse personalities and calibre. Trust me, you need to gather enough connections before you leave school.

  1. Make the first move

Yes, I know this is hard. You are probably shy and an introvert, but you don’t expect to make friends in university in your first year by sitting and waiting for people to always reach out. I’m not saying you should walk up to them and say “Hey, let’s be friends.” It’s not wrong, but there are many other approaches.

You can sit beside someone you admire and pass a comment like “I love your handwriting” or “You seem to understand this topic better than I do. Would you mind explaining after the class”. They may just nod and remain silent. The most important thing is that you’ve made the move, and they will remember you. You could also render help to the person when he/she is in need. Don’t be shy, it doesn’t hurt. 

This kind of method needs careful observation and the ability to understand body movement. People have different personalities and mood variations. You need to know when someone is not interested in the conversation you’re starting or the move you are making. 

Read also: How to have a meaningful conversation with anyone in Nigeria

  1. Engage in social activities

Why do you have to make friends in university in your first year? Man is a social being. Try as much as you can not to exist in isolation. You may have to leave your comfort zone if you want to make friends in university. Go for hangouts, seminars, orientations and whatever social function is being organised by the school.

Social activities aren’t organised just for the fun of it. They are for people from different parts of Nigeria to mingle and connect. You can take advantage of these opportunities too. 

Read also: Networking tips for Nigerian students in university


Making friends in university in your first year would be easy if you follow the aforementioned ways. The school will be easier, more fun and more exciting. Now you won’t just pass through the school, school is going to pass through you as well. 

Making friends is just as necessary as the air you breathe. University is one of the places where you decide the kind of person you want to be based on the kinds of friends you want to make. No parent or guardian will handpick friends for you. Friends account for 80% of what you will be in future. So, set your principles and make a wise choice.

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About the Author

Augusta Asionye: I’m a news writer, a freelancing content writer, copywriter, student journalist, broadcast volunteer. I love reading and surfing the internet. Impacting lives has always been my dream and still is.

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