Helloooooo lovely hoomans!
One of the big questions that come up about university is the type of student you’re going to be. For some, you want to be a party animal and make the most of every social activity and opportunity. After all, these are meant to be the best years of your life, you might as well take full advantage of them right? For others, maybe partying isn’t your thing. You’re focused on doing your degree, getting through to the other side successfully and your idea of socialising is a cosy night in with a cup of hot chocolate and a movie. Maybe a few carefully selected friends can join you on occasion.
The key thing about coming to university though is knowing you don’t need to change who you are to make friends. Deciding whether you want to be more of a party animal, a homebody or a bookworm is just down to what you prefer, and what experiences you think will make you happy or help you have the best time at uni for you. Sooooo today I thought I’d go through a few ideas for testing the waters to see what you prefer, or if you already know, what sort of things you can do with your friends. Let’s get going then shall we?
Try something with a friend
If you’re like me and fall somewhere in the middle, sociable without wanting to go too wild, what can really help is trying something out with a friend.
For instance, if you want to go clubbing, but don’t quite want to brave the loud music and sticky floors on your own, ask a friend to go with you. That way you can both look out for each other, and it’s slightly less intimidating. Or, if you want to go the other way and do a less high energy activity, again ask a friend to go with you. I had a friend go to a book club with me because we were both a bit unsure if we wanted to join.
The nice thing about trying any sort of new experience with a friend is you know you don’t have to brave it alone, you have someone to support you whether you love or hate it, and it can be a great way to bond with that person. I became closer with a lot of my friends in first year, simply because we paired up to see what various activities or social events were like.
Grab a coffee
If you’re not a party animal, that is absolutely okay. But sometimes you still want to go out with friends and meet up somewhere that isn’t in a class, or in either of your dorm rooms/flats. From your basic cappuccino, to seasonal beverages or even a cup of tea with a slice of cake, ‘do you want to grab a coffee?’ is the new ‘do you want to grab a drink’ – plus this beverage comes with an option for cake, and is in a location where there could be adorable dogs around.
And, even if your friends do like to drink, I can guarantee they won’t say no to a study break at a cafe for lunch or a cup of coffee, if my experience at uni is anything to go by. Never underestimate the power of a hot drink and cake!
Join a club or society, or play a sport
Most universities have almost too many clubs, sports and societies to join for a human being to process. The great thing about this is it provides a unique socialising opportunity. Clubs, societies and sports are a chance to meet other people who have a similar interest, expand your hobbies or pursue something funky you never considered.
Once you’ve joined, not only will there be regular sessions, but there will also probably be additional socials or fun events. For instance, I’m not much of a party animal, but when I joined the Creative Writing Society, not only did I meet some really amazing friends during our weekly writing sessions, but I’ve even gone on bar crawls and socials with them because the group of people I’m with make those experiences more enjoyable. There is such a range of societies to join, from scuba diving, to robotics, to baking, various fandoms or a shared love of board games, there will definitely be a society for you where you can meet friends and do different social activities with them.
Host themed nights in
Themed nights are a great choice for socialising no matter what kind of socialite you are. You could have a themed movie night if you’re more of an introvert and just invite your friends over for a night of movies, popcorn and hot chocolate. For instance, with one of my two close friends, we have a Disney movie and dinner night every fortnight or so.
You could have themed dinner parties for various occasions – I’ve hosted a South African night before, we’ve had a Christmas dinner, a junk food potluck and there are loads of other options. The fun thing about dinner parties is they are great for any friends, whether there are drinkers or not because the focus is on the food and having a fun time.
Or, you could take things another step up and have themed parties, which again can depend on your friends. For instance, I’m planning a pyjama party for my 22nd birthday. You could have a cocktail making party, some sort of costume party, or have a theme like Hollywood, the 60s, childhood memories, and more. Whatever your group of friends, there will be a theme you can use to host a fun night in, and have the energy level match the mood.
It’s not as obvious as you think
This is something I wish someone would talk more about because it can be stressful. Have you ever gone to a party, and had someone come up to you and sniff your drink, or your breath, to see if you’re drinking? My guess is probably not, but if it’s a yes I’m interested in what sort of events you’re going to.
If you want to go to a bar, or a house party, that doesn’t mean you have to drink. For example, for January I went the whole month without drinking (or eating dairy/gluten/processed sugar) and I still went to the house parties my friends invited me to, I just stuck to water and no one cared. I can also guarantee it’s less obvious than you think that you’re not drinking, or drinking less than others. Plus, even if people do notice, I can promise they won’t mind, and probably won’t care.
Do what makes you happy
At the end of the day, the best kind of socialising is the kind that makes you happy. If you’re feeling super stressed out about a prospective social event, my guess is deep down it’s probably not your thing, and the trick is knowing that it’s okay to say what you do and don’t enjoy! Ultimately, although there’s a lot of hype that university is all about getting drunk, or the only way to meet and make friends is by going to party, student life is so much more than that and you don’t need alcohol to meet new people, or have fun. All that matters is you’re doing what you’re comfortable with, and having fun with friends in a way that makes you happy. And as cheesy as it sounds, but any friends who aren’t supportive about the types of things you enjoy are not real friends because true friends won’t care what the activity is, they’ll just enjoy spending time with you.
And there you have it! I hope this was a fun post for you to read, and it was helpful and reassuring for anyone who might be feeling unsure about university socialising. I know it can seem stressful and intimidating, but as I’ve said, all you need to do is focus on what you enjoy doing and go from there. Everything else will 1000% work itself out.
Until next week, stay sparkly everyone!
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx