Making Friends at University: Why Your Second Year Is Your Best Time to Make Friends

Going to university is an exciting time. You’re stepping out from your parents’ house and starting your adult life. It’s all about trying new things and making friends at university.

Well, we hear all the time that the friends you make at university are those you’ll keep for life. Unlike high school, there’s less pressure on fitting into cliques and you’ll meet people more like you. That’s certainly the case, but don’t worry if you can’t make lots of great friends in your first year of university.

I found the second and third years of university were the times that I made friends that I still talk to today. I don’t know what any of my fresher year flatmates are doing. Some of the people I met during the first year are in the wind – never to be heard from again. At least, in my case they are.

I’m not complaining. The friends that I have from university are great. I’m able to message them years into the future when I need some advice and there are some that have helped me secure projects for work through their connections!

But why is the second year the best for making friends at university? Here’s a look at why I think I made better friends after my first year.


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You Know More About Yourself

The first year is a year of discovery for many people. It certainly was for me and some of the others that I lived with.

At first, the friends I made at university were great. I got on with my flatmates and some of us thought about living together the next year. But plans fall through and you’ll start to find that you’re not the person you thought you were at the start of the first year.

You see, at the start of fresher year, you likely want to force yourself to fit in with new potential friends. There’s still that sort of high school mindset that makes you fit in with a clique.

As you get through the first year, you’ll meet lots of people who can influence you in different ways. You find that your true personality shines through and the people that you met in your first week or first month go a different direction. When your true personality comes through, the friendship circles change and you start to connect with the people who suit your personality more.

You Get to Choose the People You Live With

Okay, in my case I didn’t get to choose. I shared a few weeks ago about having to find a place to live with just two weeks to go.

Most people will get to choose who they want to live with. That was certainly the case with my third year of university. And this helps you bond better.

In your first year, you’ll be thrown in with a lot of people. I had 11 others to get to know in my kitchen and it’s not really surprising that I didn’t make any close friends. We had a lot to learn in a short space of time and needed to figure out if we could live together afterwards.

In your second year, you’ll move into a smaller place. There’s not as many people coming and going, and you’ll get to find out more about the individuals you’re friends with. I found out that one flatmate loved to play music all the time. Another enjoyed his computer games to the point that he would be up until God only knew what time in the morning. Some of this stuff I could have found out in halls of residence but it was much harder.

You’ll also meet the friends of friends that you live with more in the second year of uni, since the living space is smaller. And these friends will likely have similar likes and personalities, which helps to expand your friendship group in a favourable way. That’s how I made some of the friends I have now.

making friends at university in your second year

You’ll Spend More Sober Nights Together

The fresher year of university is the time for everyone to get drunk and go out. The second year is the time to order pizzas, arrange house parties, enjoy board games and binge watch Netflix. You spend more time being sober, because you need to as you buckle down with more work.

You get to know your friends on a sober level. You’re not conveniently forgetting about a few annoying or great elements of their personalities.

These sober memories will stick with you for longer. You’ll have more to reminisce on in the future, which makes them more lifelong friends.


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You Get to Ages Where You Want Lifelong Friends

In your fresher year, you’re all just discovering life without parents. In the second year and beyond, you start to realize that you will get older. There is a future that you need to plan for.

Rather than looking to the end of the year, you start to plan for five or 10 years down the line. When making new friends at university, you start to look at those who will be good for your future plans. And they will do the same.

You look for ways that you can help each other. You’ll search for people who will support plans in the years to come. You don’t want someone to just go out drinking with, but someone who you can call when you’re in trouble and need picking up at 2am – and vice versa!

Don’t worry if you’re not making friends in university that will last. Your fresher year is to discover and explore. It’s a chance to learn more about you and your personality. The second year and beyond are the years that you will make the friends you’ll still have years in the future.

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