How To Make New Friends As A Young Adult

Making new friends as a young adult is definitely no walk in the park, especially if you’ve just moved to a new city or town for university and you’re surrounded by people you don’t know. 

There’s no denying that it’s easier to make friends when you’re younger, in fact studies show that the older we get, the less friends that we have. 

Although that’s not to say you can’t make long lasting friendships when you’re a young adult, it just takes a different approach and putting yourself out of your comfort zone. 

If you’re struggling to meet new people and foster new friendships, we’ve put together this post on how to make friends as an adult. You’ll have tons of besties in no time!

how to make friends as an adult

1. Make Sure To Be Yourself 

Our first tip for making friends as an adult is to make sure to just be yourself and be authentic. 

It’s easily done to put on a bit of a front and appear to exaggerate your personality when meeting new people, especially if you’re an introvert who’s wanting to appear more extroverted. 

However, try not to pretend to be someone you’re not in an attempt to impress people, the right people will like you for you.

After all, it’s draining trying to keep up with false appearances, and you’ll notice that socialising with others becomes easier when you’re true to who you are. 

meeting new people making friends

2. Be Willing To Feel Uncomfortable 

What we mean by this next tip is that it can feel uncomfortable to spark up conversations with strangers and approach people, but don’t worry, everyone tends to feel the same way when meeting new people. 

Unfortunately forging friendships doesn’t come at a click of a finger, you’ve got to put in some work and get yourself out there, speak to new people, go to new places, join new clubs and so on. 

It will definitely feel nerve-wracking at first to get out of your social comfort zone, but there will be other students in the same boat as you. 

If you get invited to things, say yes to everything, or if that feels too anxiety inducing, say yes to at least a few things! 

pushing yourself out of your comfort zone

3. Join Clubs and Societies 

Joining a university society or club is a fantastic way to make new friends whilst studying, and each institution tends to have hundreds to choose from. 

Whether you’re interested in drama, sports, music, politics, fashion, gaming or so on, there should be a university society or club which suits your interests so make sure to get signed up. 

If your ideal society doesn’t exist yet, you could even think about starting your own and getting new people to help. 

Not only will you make new friends and meet like-minded people when joining clubs and societies, you’ll also gain valuable skills too and potentially help improve your CV – what a winner!

joining a university society how to make friends

4. Take On A Student Job

You may not have thought about it before, but working at a part time job whilst at university can be a great way to meet new people. 

Better yet, trying to get a job on campus or in your student union will enable you to work alongside other students and you’ll interact with tons of new people everyday. 

You’ll meet people from all walks of life whilst taking on a job at university, meaning it will be easier for you to make new friends with those you’re working with, and boost your student budget. 

Just make sure that you’re not working more than 20 hours per week during your term time, as your university studies should take priority! 

making friends student job

5. Speak To People On Campus 

When it comes to making good friends as an adult, this next tip may sound like an obvious one but we’d suggest speaking to people on campus.

Whether it’s sparking up a conversation to the person you’re sitting next to in a lecture, complimenting someone you walk past or even chatting to other students in the library (as long as they’re not busy studying!).

You could even sit in the campus bar or cafe at your university as these are good places to socialise with other students. 

Campus events are also a perfect way to meet people, so take a look at your university website or social media to find out what’s happening, there will be plenty of things to experience! 

speaking to people on campus

6. Spend Time In Communal Areas

For those living in student accommodation whilst at university, we’d suggest spending time in social spaces where you live. 

No doubt your property will have social areas like a communal lounge, games room, or outdoor spaces where students can hangout. 

It may feel tempting to stay in and watch Netflix in your room, but these spaces will give you the perfect chance to speak to new people. 

Here at Essential Student Living, we host welcome events in our properties and even have a residents app which you use to host your own events – what a great way to make friends!  

spending time in student accommodation

7. Make The Most Of Online Resources 

Thanks to the digital age that we live in, it’s super easy to make new connections online with social media at our fingertips, online communities and even friendship apps. 

Whether it’s joining university groups on Facebook, downloading friendship apps such as Hey! Vina or Meetup, or even building a network on LinkedIn, there are tons of ways to make new friends online. 

It can be super handy if you’re naturally more introverted to speak to people online and search for people with common interests. 

Just make sure that if you do plan to meet up with people you’ve met online, arrange to meet up in a public place. At the end of the day, this person is still a stranger so it’s better to be safe!

making friends on social media  

8. Join A Local Club 

Our next tip for making friends as a young adult is to join a local club, such as, if you’re into fitness, you could join a local gym or sports club to meet people who share your passion. 

The next time you’re at a spinning class or a yoga class, why not start up a conversation with the person next to you? After all, everyone needs a gym buddy! 

If you’re not really a fan of fitness and are more into reading, why not join a book club? Or if you’re into painting, you could find a paint class or an art club to join. 

Don’t feel put off about turning up by yourself to these types of things, we’re sure you won’t be the only one alone. 

joining a local club

9. Attend Local Events 

If you want to make new friends, try to get yourself out to student club nights, pub quizzes, or other local happenings within your area, chances are you’ll meet like minded people. 

Whilst there is a big drinking culture at university, there are alternative ways you can meet people if you’re not up for hitting the bars or clubs. 

You could go to local farmers markets, sports game, watch a film at the cinema, attend a live music concert and so on.

Sometimes it may not seem like it, but there are other students out there who don’t like partying either, you just need to be patient and you’ll find them! 

attending local events

10. Volunteer For Charities or Organisations 

Whilst volunteering for local charities or organisations, you’ll become a part of the local community and meet new people who share your values, which in turn, could turn into friendships. 

Make use of your university website’s volunteering portal to search for opportunities and log your hours, as this can help to boost your CV for when you graduate. 

You won’t just make a real difference to causes close to your heart, it will also feel good to help out, which can boost your mental well-being. 

You never know, you may just find your new bestie whilst volunteering… 

volunteering how to make friends as an adult

Remember, true friendships take time and don’t happen overnight so don’t feel disheartened if you’re struggling to meet new people.

Take on board our tips, push yourself out of your comfort zone and be yourself, you’ve got this! 

With International Friendship Day on July 30th, there’s no better time to go out there and try to build meaningful connections. 

If you’re feeling lonely whilst at university, don’t forget there are people you can speak to and resources you can make the most of. 

Are you curious how you can make money on TikTok whilst at university? If so, take a read of our post to find out! 

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