You’ve made it this far. You’ve got the grades, you’ve said the teary goodbyes and now you’re faced with the daunting task of making a while new group of friends, some of which you’ll end up spending the next year living with.
Moving in with an unfamiliar group of people will always carry with it a bit of tension, it’s typically a nervous experience for everyone involved regardless of how confident they may or may not be. With that in mind, here are a few activities you can break out during your first few weeks together that are sure to create a sociable atmosphere and make the process of making friends a lot easier.
PLAY: NEVER HAVE I EVER: Okay this may be an obvious one, but nothing gets the wheels of conversation going for students quite like alcohol does. Drinking games have been bringing students together for decades and playing ‘Never Have I ver’ allows you to get to know everyone in the house to the same horribly revealing degree. The best thing to do is to play the game before you either go to the pub or out on a club night, you’ll save money on drinks and find that by the time you’re out the awkward silences have long gone. Of course, Ring of Fire and Beer Pong (or ‘whatever-you-have-in-the-house pong, as it’s more popularly known amongst students) are also excellent shouts in getting you prepared for a night out. Short on cash (or, god forbid, alcohol?), you can always take turns riding down the stairs on your duvet, or playing NERF gun wars.
WATCH: HAVE A FILM NIGHT: Alcohol not your thing? Still feeling hungover from the night before? Avoid poisoning yourself altogether and have a film night with the rest of your housemates. This is a fun way to get to know each other’s interests and allows everyone in the house to spend time doing something that they enjoy. Try theming your film nights based around different genres or directors and let each housemate pick a theme across the first few weeks of living together. This’ll make social occasions a regular occurrence in your house, whilst also encourages you all to spend time with each other in the early stages of your time living together (even if it is spent ironically watching Adam Sandler films for hours at a time). And – you might just discover a new favourite film, or likewise bond over a shared hatred for another.
COOK: MAKE A MEAL FOR YOUR HOUSEMATES: A great way of bonding with your new roommates is to involve them in things you like doing. If you don’t live solely off alcohol and instant noodles then I’m guessing at some point you will want to do some cooking (It helps to get this in early before the inevitable destruction of the kitchen). Cooking at university can be the perfect way to prompt your house into being sociable with each other even if nothing particularly exciting is happening that evening. You’re bound to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds during your degree and cooking can be a way of exposing people to your culture as well as letting you get better acquainted with theirs. Not much of a chef? Go in on a takeaway, eating together is inherently social and will help you get to know people’s interests and preferences.
LISTEN: DO SOMETHING MUSICAL: One way of getting past any awkwardness you might have with someone is by talking to them about their music taste. Brighton has one of the best scenes for up and coming music in the country, with gigs on most nights of the week you can be sure of finding something that you all enjoy as a house. Alternatively, listen to some music in your room with the door open, it’s inviting and enables other people to hear what your interests are. Another good way of using music to get to know each other is through vinyl, listen to a whole album that you both like and talk about it to each other. The music will make it so there’s no awkward silences, recommending albums or artists to one another is how countless numbers of friendships are made at university, particularly in a city as focused on the arts as Brighton is. Not into novel ways of listening to music? Download a streaming service!
PLAN: HAVE A PARTY TOGETHER: Parties are a great way of meeting new people at university, they allow you to meet each other’s friendship groups and create an overall feeling of inclusivity amongst your housemates. It might seem like a nerve-wracking experience but by taking a few precautions it can help you become more comfortable around your housemates. One thing that’s important is remembering to keep it (reasonably) small, nothing is worse than when you come downstairs at your own party and see over twenty people crammed into your tiny kitchen none of whom you’ve ever seen before (trust me). Keeping it all to your respective frien
ds should be more than enough to have a suitably sized party without accidentally losing all of your deposit. Planning the party itself is also a good way to get past any awkwardness in your house (assuming you’re all up for the idea); it requires hearing each other out while also taking people’s worries and ideas into account.
EXPLORE: GO OUT AND DO SOMETHING: A sure-fire way to create an unfriendly vibe is to spend all your time in your room with the door closed. Spending all your time purely in your house only allows you to get to know your roommates in one context, one of the best things you can do with a new group of people is to go out and do something new and interesting. It’s important when you first arrive at university to become familiar with the city you’re living in, doing this with your housemates is a convenient way for you all to get accustomed to life away from home while also getting know the place together. Brighton may be known for its vibrant nightlife but it’s also full of exciting things to do in the day (especially while the weather remains this good), find a common interest between you all and explore your options.