The title of this post makes it sound like making friends at uni is easy; something you can learn to do in a few minutes. But friendships, like all relationships, take time to nurture and build up. Uni isn’t like school, where you’re thrust together with the same, relatively small group of people for days on end. It’s so much bigger than that, and that ironically makes it much harder to meet people to form a bond with. Finding the right people for you can take a lot of time and effort – or it can happen out of the blue. In my experience, finding your future friends involves a bit of work and a bit of luck, but making and securing those friendships can take quite a lot of work. It’s a fun and important process though, and worth it in the end, so here are my tips and tricks for finding your friends at university.

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My first year at university was the hardest of my life. The transition to uni life was so hard to handle that I spent days on end locked in my halls bedroom, wishing I was anywhere but there. I came home at the end of the year depressed, having suffered near-crippling anxiety for much of the year. On multiple occasions I considered dropping out, transferring to UEA and living at home for the duration of my undergraduate degree. But despite all this, I absolutely cannot wait to get back to York this weekend and start my second year – so what’s changed?

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Think ‘Freshers’ Week’. What comes to mind? I’m getting a blind, endless mix of alcohol, hangovers, and club nights with stupid fancy dress themes, not to mention a healthy dose of anxiety, stress and homesickness. When I was preparing for my own Freshers’ Week this time last year I was absolutely terrified; although I enjoy drinks and parties with friends, the idea of a full week of clubbing and exhaustion was, simply, abhorrent. I understand that for many students this really is their idea of great fun, but to me it seemed like this great big hurdle I had to get over before I could actually start uni. In the end, I actually enjoyed my Freshers’ Week – and if you’re feeling like I was last September, read on to find out how you can too.

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It’s so strange to think that this time last year I was preparing to leave for university. It’s an understatement to say I was pretty nervous about the whole thing, and I wasn’t really sure how best to prepare for this major life-change. Over the next eight weeks or so I’ll be helping all you new students through the process of preparing, packing and moving away to university in my Freshers’ Guide. It’s designed so can have the best start to your uni career as possible! At the end of each post there’ll be a piece of downloadable material to help support you in your preparations, so be sure to stick around. First up, I’m breaking down the weeks between getting your results and place at university to moving into your accommodation or starting your classes, if you’re choosing to stay at home. There’s a lot to do in what is a relatively short space of time, so it’s good to have some idea in advance of what to expect, so you can best prepare.

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Back in January I announced that I would be starting a new series on the blog, entitled on my bookshelf. The plan was to share a list of books in each post which corresponded to a theme, whether that was my favourite picture books as a child or my current collection of feminist theory, and I was also planning on including guest posts too. For one reason or another, though, I never managed to get it off the ground – until now, when I’ve finally got the time.

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