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Making Friends at University as a Shy Person

Updated: May 21

There was so much I was incredibly excited about when starting university! Joining societies, decorating my accommodation with lots of pink things, getting the opportunity to learn about things I was so passionate about from my course. There was also so much I was incredibly scared about. Would I be able to cope with the workload at university? How much am I going to miss my family when I don’t see them every single day anymore? And, most importantly…. WILL I MAKE ANY FRIENDS? If any of you are worried about the same- DON’T PANIC! I have written down my 5 top tips below for making friends if you consider yourself a shy individual!

  • Join A Society!

You have probably heard this one a lot, but have you ever thought about why making friends with someone who is a member of the same society as you works so well? Firstly, some societies may have weekly sessions, others may have socials frequently scattered across the year. What does this mean in practice? It means that you don’t see these friends as frequently as your flatmates or your course mates, but you still see them quite regularly. This is perfect for anyone who wants close friendships, but isn’t keen on socialising all the time! Secondly, this is also works great for those of you who don’t enjoy speaking too much! If you end up in the same society as someone else, it means you have the same interests as them! Thus, your friends will most likely speak about things that you enjoy and don’t mind speaking about!

  • If You Notice Someone On Their Own, Try Befriending Them!

If you see someone who regularly spends lots of time on their own, they’re probably in the same situation as you! They’re probably also very shy, so try saying hello to them! They might want to make friends the same way you do! If they clearly feel uncomfortable by your presence, don’t force them to be friends with you, and give them their own space and time!

  • Don’t Force Yourself to Be Friends With People if You’re Not Comfortable

The same way you shouldn’t force someone to be friends with you if they’re not feeling comfortable, you shouldn’t force yourself into friendships with others if YOU’RE not feeling comfortable! Allow yourself to spend time on your own, and once you start making your amazing friends, make sure to create those healthy boundaries and make sure you’re not draining yourself too much socially! If you’re feeling too worried to go up to someone and to speak to them in-person to befriend them, try sending them a quick message instead, if you can find their socials!

  • Try joining smaller groups, instead of large groups.

If you feel worried about the thought of hanging out with lots of people, try finding smaller groups to be friends with instead!

  • Try Looking For a Friend Who Doesn’t Mind Speaking a Lot, But Someone Who is Also a Very Good Listener

If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy speaking too much, a friend who really enjoys speaking a lot will be perfect, as they’ll do a lot of the speaking for you! However, there will be moments when you begin to open up, and need someone who has a really good listening ear, so you don’t feel discouraged from speaking- so make sure your friend is a bit of both!

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