Making friends at university

Students playing cards in a shared kitchen.

University can be an exciting and enjoyable experience, but it’s also normal to feel overwhelmed, anxious or lonely sometimes.

Here are some top tips for making friends at Oxford Brookes:

Join societies, networks and clubs

Joining a society or student network is a truly rewarding experience and it’s a great way to meet people with similar interests as you. Fresher’s Fair is a great opportunity to explore Brookes Union’s wide range of student societies and networks, chat with committees and sign up to events. With so many to choose from, you’re likely to find something that interests you, but if not, you could always start your own! Keep an eye on the Brookes Union webpage and sign up to the official Fresher’s mailing list for reminders and updates. Also, make sure to check out the Brookes Sport webpage to find information about the University's variety of clubs and sporting events. Try to step outside of your comfort zone and have a go at a new hobby - you might surprise yourself! 

Socialise with your classmates

One of the best places to make friends at University is in your classes and lectures. You already have something in common with your classmates, which makes it easier to start conversations and get to know each other. Organising a study group is a good way to bond with your peers, and it can help you to feel supported and motivated about your studies. Remember that you can book a room on campus to help you focus on group work.

Take part in extracurricular activities

Participating in extracurricular projects and activities is a fantastic way of gaining experience while socialising. For example, if you’re a budding entrepreneur, you could take advantage of Brookes Enterprise Support initiatives to meet like-minded people and kick-start your own business. If you do choose to take part in extracurricular activities, BrookesEDGE can help you make the most of your achievements so you can stand out in the job market!

Get a part-time job

Getting a part-time job while at university is a good way of interacting with people outside of your social bubble, as well as making money and gaining work experience. The University’s Careers team is available to help you apply for jobs, practice interviews, manage your time and much more. There are lots of flexible jobs that you can fit around your studies - visit the JobShop to start applying. 

Alternatively, you can visit the Volunteer Centre for opportunities to get involved and make a positive difference in your local community!

Take an active role

If you’re up for the challenge, taking a more active, student-facing role at the University is another way to find a sense of belonging and boost your CV. You could sign up to become a Student Ambassador, run for a Brookes Union Officer position or represent the views of your classmates by becoming a Course Rep

Get involved with University events

Oxford Brookes also hosts a wide range of events and activities throughout the year which are worth taking advantage of. For example, you could attend a Hedgehog Friendly Campus litter pick, or go to one of the Multifaith Chaplaincy’s community events. Also, make sure you stay up to date with Student News emails to discover more opportunities to get involved and stay connected with the rest of the Brookes community. 

For additional support with meeting new people, check out Student Connect, a project run by the Multifaith Chaplaincy in Student Support Services to help bring together students with shared interests.

If you need support

If you’re feeling isolated or you just need some extra support, Student Support Services has teams of trained professionals to help and advise you. This video can help you find out where to go to ask for support. If you’re not sure who to contact or can’t find what you need, please contact Student Support Services on or 01865 535222.