When I say that the one thing I was the most anxious about when I decided I would be coming to LSE was about making friends, I will not be lying (my therapist can vouch for this). I was dreading having to make new friends, feeling left out, and not finding a good group of people to support me throughout my time at LSE, and for good reason.
Making new friends can be a daunting experience for a lot of people. One thing that I told myself from the very beginning was that I had to push myself to step out of my comfort zone. I knew that in order to make friends I would have to make the first move and initiate a conversation just to make it easier for myself. My attempts at making friends at LSE started way before I even arrived in London. WhatsApp and Facebook groups for incoming students are great places to make friends. I found my first friend from my accommodation who also happened to be studying in the same programme that I was studying through the accommodation WhatsApp group. When both of us arrived in London, I reached out to her again asking if she wanted to meet and explore the neighbourhood.
Another conscious decision I made was to always say yes to new experiences and plan to hang out as a group. In the beginning, our cohort did a lot of things together and I made sure I went to each of them to meet as many new people as I could. Even though this was initially stressful for me, I soon started enjoying the process of meeting new people and trying to learn about them and their lives.
Lastly, I made sure I tried the various LSESU clubs and societies as a way to meet new people. I signed myself up for the trial days for the LSE Women’s Basketball Team, the Wine Society and a lot of other societies and then stuck to the societies that I liked the most. I was able to meet such a diverse group of people attending various levels of study at LSE and it helped me expand my friendship group.
An important tip I would give to new students would be to push yourself a little to make new friends. It is important to remind yourself that everyone is new to the university and the programme and, additionally, everyone is looking to make new friends just like you. It might take time but it will happen. That being said, keep some time to spend by yourself, do not put yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable or do not feel right to you and always trust your gut. All the best!