Advice from one student to another
Not only do we want to share newsworthy stories here at SIN, we want to provide a well-rounded view on student life. Life at university isn’t always easy. We all experience issues and struggles from time to time. This new section of the newspaper will be dedicated to answering and advising your issues and queries, from one student to another. If you have any ideas up for discussion, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi SIN Says,
I have just started college and moved away from home for the first time. My course is going very well and I am enjoying it. However, I am really struggling to make friends. I have a tight-knit friend group at home, but we have all gone our separate ways. I am living in student accommodation and hate feeling lonely and isolated and want to make new friends. How do I get myself out there more?
Dear Lonely Student,
Firstly, I would like to thank you very much for getting in touch – it’s not easy to reach out and look for help and advice.
Secondly, I would like to reassure you that you are not the only person feeling like this and you are certainly not alone. The beginning of a new college year always brings up a wide array of emotions. Some people thrive in a new environment while others find it more difficult to settle in. It is important to remember that both feelings are completely normal.
Regarding making friends, my biggest piece of advice would be to “Say yes!” If someone invites you to join them on a night out, say yes. If someone asks you to grab a coffee after a lecture, say yes. If someone asks you to tag along to a club meeting, say yes. Sometimes you must grab opportunities as they present themselves. You never know, you could meet a new best friend over a pint in the college bar or at a late-night study session.
Furthermore, I would advise you to join a club or society of something that interests you – NUI Galway are renowned for having something for everyone. Whether you are interested in mountaineering, politics or fashion, there is certainly something for you. Keep an eye out for the weekly Student Union newsletter for all the latest information on clubs, societies and volunteering opportunities.
You have mentioned that you are currently living in student accommodation. Try to spend time in the communal areas of the house or apartment and get to know your housemates. Try to organise a housemate night out or a movie night. Remember that spending all your time in your room and closing the door gives the impression that you want be alone.
I would also encourage you to reach out to your fellow classmates – be it online or in person. If there is a course night out being organised, ensure you tag along. It is always reassuring to have a friendly face to sit beside in lectures.
Just as a final note, reach out for help if you need it. I would like to highlight the student counselling services available at NUI Galway. For all information and queries, email email@example.com.
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