Five activities for meeting new people at uni

Something students think about a lot when they move to uni is making new friends. Having a few activities in mind can give you a good head start.

Great ways to get to know each other

If you’re wondering how to meet people at uni, the best place to start is your accommodation. You can get to know other students in your own house or flat – and in any student accommodation nearby. Everyone’s in the same boat and will probably go to welcome events and start to meet people.

Then there are your course mates and any societies or sports teams you join (more on those later). And any colleagues if you’ve got any part-time work or voluntary roles.

Whether you’re relaxing in your student accommodation, studying on campus or whoever you’re spending time with, here are some activities you could try.

1. Games

As well as talking about things like where you’re from and what you’re studying, playing games is such a good way to get to know people.

  • Any classic or niche boardgames your housemates have brought
  • Xbox, PlayStation, app games etc
  • Games at welcome events run by your uni or Students’ Union
  • Teach each other any card games you know
  • Nearby parks for a kick about, rounders, basketball

2. Cooking & eating

Preparing meals and eating them together is a great way of getting to know each other (and shares out the work of cooking too). Sausage & mash, risotto and one-pot dishes are particularly ideal for this kind of cooking.

Generally, anything that requires one person stirring and the other one slicing & dicing works really well – and so do meals based on a few main items, (with one of you sorting out an item each).

Not everybody’s into shared cooking, but you can still enjoy food together.

  • Go somewhere for a picnic while it’s still sunny
  • Take it in turns to cook for each other
  • Treat yourselves to a meal out somewhere
  • If in doubt, order takeaway?

3. Exploring

There are all sorts of places you can visit to have a good explore together. Head out in a group or just two or three of you – and have a general wander or go visit places that might inspire all kinds of conversation.

You could explore almost anything/anywhere really.

  • Green spaces, countryside, hiking, boating, swimming
  • Shopping centres, independent boutiques, charity shops, markets
  • Art galleries, street art, theatres, cinema
  • Restaurants, nightlife, festivals

4. Music

Karaoke isn’t the only way to share music (thankfully?) – spending time listening to each other’s music can be a nice way to connect. Plus a handy way to discover new music.

  • You could run a jam session if you’re musicians
  • Share your favourite playlists or albums
  • Go to open mic nights or local gigs
  • Get your vinyl collections together

5. Societies & sports teams

Your Students’ Union will have loads of student societies and sports teams you can join – whether solo or alongside your housemates or course mates.

Check your Students’ Union website or go to welcome events – you’ll find societies and teams based on activities or shared interests, or competitive sports or performing arts. Some you might have never heard of or might be quite unexpected! And you can even start your own society if you’d like to.

You could try one or two, or as many as you’d like. You could make lifelong friends or develop a new skill – or you might go to one social and decide it’s not quite right for you. Either way it’ll be a good experience and something to talk about with your housemates when you get back.

  • Skydiving, skateboarding, trampolining – lots of active things
  • Drinking tea, cooking, Harry Potter, sustainability, reading
  • Competitive sports teams – rugby, ultimate frisbee, hockey, football
  • Spiritual and religious groups, international, LGBTQ+

Want to know more?

You’re welcome to chat to students already at uni to see how they got on when they moved to uni – and maybe ask them what activities worked the best for them.