Freshers’ week is a period of time, around one to two weeks when students from all kinds of countries, ethnicities and majors gather in numerous events held by universities or the private businesses surrounding it. It’s the ideal event/chain of events that combine socialising and having fun in the most unexpected ways! You’re now 18 years old, and your parents are not watching you 24/7, so going wild and crazy is inevitable!
However, there is one main obstacle that will face students this year, the pandemic. Socialising with a group of strangers is not really an option, so virtual fun is the best way around it for now. Does that make you a bit sad? Don’t worry! There are other ways to make friends online.
This year, there are so many alternatives offered by universities for students to have the freshers’ week of their dreams, without endangering their safety or others’. Activities like online escape rooms and virtual standup comedies are now a thing, and most students actually enjoy their time doing it.
Student unions say that generation Z, which you are most probably one of, are less interested in the wild version of the freshers’ week that millennials used to have. So, having the freshers’ week with its upgraded model won’t really make them feel like they’re missing out on anything.
Francesco Masala, the president of the University of Bath’s students’ union, explained that this year offers a chance to “move towards a fundamentally new model with more daily activities not concentrated on the freshers’ week stereotypical activities”.
The University of Bath is holding virtual events, including live music and professional comedy. Additionally, the University of Leeds is offering its freshers’ week activities through online escape rooms, yoga and meditation classes.
Virtual communication will most definitely be one of your most remarkable experiences in university if you let it flow! The first time of everything is always the hardest; then you master it like you were born doing it. Remember to chat with other attendees and create online groups for yourselves to interact through after the virtual event is over!
If your university opted for a ‘no Fresher’s week’ approach or you missed the event, try joining online Facebook groups to make friends. Keep your social media accounts updated with your hobbies, things you love, or any other interests that may help you start a small conversation with someone you might be interested in getting to know a bit better. Browse through the social media groups of the university and post activities you want to try with the members. Who knows you might find an online best friend with the same hobbies as you.
Friends meetup apps are not a bad idea to make friends online. FriendMatch, Bumble BFF, Friender, Hey!VINA, Peanut, Skout, Meet My Dog and Nextdoor are some options to try and see for yourself if it’s a convenient way to meet new people.
Get deep and ask people about what they love, what they are passionate about, maybe a couple of open-ended questions would be a great conversation booster. Show interest in their hobbies; somehow, it gives meaning and purpose to the conversation!
TikTok duets are really a fantastic shortcut to anyone’s DM; it could give you a chance to start a conversation with someone you like. Netflix watching parties and Zoom karaoke nights are great ways to share interests with like-minded people with lots of things to talk about after.
Finally, don’t be afraid of showing your personality, be yourself, engage deeply and honestly, and you will surely meet people you like. Your freshers’ week will be unique and incredibly fulfilling. Book your student accommodation near your university now and enjoy a different experience. Good luck!