Lifestyle, Manchester

Ask aAh!: “I’m commuting to uni and I’m worried that I won’t be able to make friends”

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Featured image: Laura Sheridan
By Molly Granger and Megan O’Sullivan

Q: I’m going to be commuting to uni and I’m worried that I won’t be able to make friends. How can I make sure I don’t miss out on meeting new people?

Whether you are moving to university accommodation or commuting, it’s a big change for everyone. You may start to think that you are alone but there will be many commuting students who will all be in the same position. It might be difficult at first but once you have settled into the first few weeks it will get better.

We spoke to second year Law student Charlotte for her advice on staying open-minded to making new connections as a commuting student. She said, “It can be intimidating trying to make friends and as a commuter, you can sometimes feel like you are missing out on opportunities or that your classmates have already made friends from uni halls. As long as you remain optimistic and be yourself you will attract like-minded people.”

“My advice to commuting students would be to arrive 10-15 minutes earlier to uni because it’s easy to get distracted by other things on your commute. A break in between arriving at uni and your classes provides time to reset and refocus on your day ahead.

The Student Union is hosting a Commuters Chill and Chat during Freshers Week. This will be a great opportunity to broaden your contacts and find some other students in the same boat as you.

Q: I don’t drink and I am worried that I won’t be able to socialise with my friends.

A: There is often a misconception that everyone at uni is involved in the huge drinking culture, but you would be surprised how many students don’t drink and still find activities to accommodate them. The Student Union hosts a packed programme of events to enjoy during Freshers Week and beyond, including sunset yoga and a roller disco.

Third year sober student Sub, says: “Not drinking alcohol has not hindered the social aspect at university for me in the slightest and I’ve always been able to have a great time without the expense of a raging headache the next morning!

“University is still a blast without drinking. I’ve always been involved in activities with friends who choose to drink and despite my initial impressions, had a fun time with them without drinking, rather just enjoying music, playing games and socialising.

“On the other hand, there are a lot of people that choose not to drink at uni and so I have been able to make more like minded friends because of this. Also, not buying alcohol saves me a lot of money which means I can go out and have a lot more fun!”

Check out the Freshers Fair and societies page on the SU website to connect with other students with similar interests.

Have a dilemma that’s bugging you? A problem that just won’t budge? Life as a student can spring up all kinds of difficulties. Fear not, we are here to help. Email and #ASKaAh

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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