Socialising

For some people making new contacts and friends is not too difficult.  For others it is harder. 

  • Do you notice when other people are trying to talk to you? 
  • Can you take turns in conversation? 
  • Do you talk about your interests or what is on your mind for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time, every single day, to the same people? 
  • Do you know how to stop yourself and listen to others? 
  • Can you work out when it is ok to take a turn in a conversation?  

Being able to answer these questions is an important part of improving your social skills. 

The Students’ Union, communal areas in the halls of residence, the hall bars and some local venues are usually safe places to go and meet new people and make some friends.

Most first year students do not know other people when they get to university.  At first conversations are about  ‘getting to know you’ and involve social ‘chat’.  If this sort of thing irritates you then it is likely that you will miss out on early friendship formation.

Alternative strategies are to join clubs or take up activities that interest you.  Many subject areas have societies too, so if that is your main interest join a subject related society. 

If you offer to help organise things, and perhaps join a common room committee then there will be a group of people you can work with and get to know. 

If you are feeling isolated and lonely, tell your Residential Adviser and Study Adviser.  It might be useful for you to attend a social skills group or to have some individual social skills guidance.  The Disabled Students’ Allowance(DSA) has sometimes been used for this because it is a difficulty you experience at university but not at home. 

Some students have had up to 20 hours per annum of social inclusion support funded through the DSA. 

Remember, you do not have to socialise if you do not want to.

 

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