How to survive your first year at Glasgow Uni as a home student

The key to making those two hour commutes worth it

You hear a lot about the lifelong friends people make at uni, the ones who become bridesmaids at each other’s weddings. But if you aren’t living in halls, it can be a challenge in first year to find them. After that hour long train into campus, and sitting through a two hour lecture, it’s easy to just want to go home. It’s hard to be a social butterfly when you’re that tired.

We polled on The Glasgow Tab’s Instagram story, and found that 22 per cent of our followers live at home with 61 per cent of these home students having found it hard to make friends during their first year.

But take it from two home students who managed to become friends in first year: it isn’t impossible. So we decided that while we had to learn how to make friends the hard way, we would make it a little easier for you. Here is our advice on making friendships that you’ll tell your grandkids about.

Freshers’ Week

It may be an obvious one but Freshers’ Week is one of the best ways to meet people. However, there’s a big expectation of attending every club night during that first week, and when you live at home it can be expensive and tiring. Our advice is to attend as many daytime events as you can. Go to those Freshers’ Fairs and get those free tote bags as compensation for your train ticket. And if clubbing is your thing, attend at least one night but don’t feel like you need to tire yourself out. Freshers’ Week is your first insight into uni life and you can learn a lot about the social side, including the clubs and societies uni has to offer.

Join societies

Glasgow Uni has 324 clubs and societies ranging from academic ones like the Glasgow University Literature Association to more niche interests, like the Taylor Swift society. There is guaranteed to be something that interests everyone. Whether you’re into musical theatre or online gaming, societies are one of the best ways to meet people with similar interests. It’s a great way to meet people outside of your course and year group. So attend those socials, and you may find yourself best friends with people you met less than a year ago.

Sports teams

Again, obvious. Not only does joining a sports team keep you fit and healthy, but it’s also a great way to feel that school spirit (Go Tigers!). A UofG Sports team gives you a community and gets you out of the house for something other than a night at Sanctuary.

Social media and group chats

This is something you can do before Freshers’ Week hits. Join those Freshers’ Facebook groups and Snapchat group chats, even if they blow your phone up with 200 messages a day. It’s comforting to know there are other people out there that are just as nervous about uni as you.

Attend everything!

This one seems obvious, but attend your lectures! Once you miss one, you’ve suddenly missed four weeks and if you’re not on campus, you’re not making friends. And we’re not just talking about lectures. Don’t ignore those summer emails and attend those ‘pointless’ advisor and induction meetings. You could end up sitting next to someone who’s in your course, and seven months down the line, find yourself gossiping at the back of lecture halls together, not paying attention at all. At least that’s what happened with us!

Put yourself out there

Finally, and most importantly, don’t be shy. Even if you do everything on this list, nothing will change if you don’t try! We know it can be daunting, but every first year is in the same boat. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can’t have the same amazing experience at Glasgow Uni as everyone else!

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