Students arriving at University of Bedfordshire or heading off to study at other institutions in 2020 will be experiencing a ‘new normal’ version of higher education and university life.
Due to the introduction of Covid-secure measures, this ‘new normal’ will see different and adapted ways of doing every day ‘studenty’ things, like Welcome Week and Freshers’ Week, course inductions, going to the pub – and even the experience of making new mates.
Remember, you are not alone in this experience.
Students may be moving to university this September, commuting to classes or studying in the town you already live in, but it’s likely everyone will be making new friends. So what is the best way to meet new people whilst maintaining social distancing?
Eliza Frost, Student Comms Officer at University of Bedfordshire, shares her tips and tricks for making friends digitally and at a social distance:
“First off, the key to making new mates at uni is being open to meeting them in the first place. So make sure you’re saying yes to new experiences, you’re welcoming and friendly, and you listen to what your new friends are saying – show interest in what people have to say and they’ll often show you the same kindness in return.
“Remember, you are not alone in this experience. If you’re feeling a certain way, it’s likely you’ll find someone else feeling like it too, who’ll be thankful to share their thoughts with a like-minded person.”
Here are some great ways to make new friends at Beds – just remember to always follow guidance available and maintain social distancing or wear a face covering when needed…
At Bedfordshire, all students will be given on-campus teaching and activities blended with online lectures from September. Look out for instructions and events held by your course or faculty and make sure to get involved.
During Welcome Week 2020, Beds SU have a host of digital events for you to get involved with, as well as societies and clubs. Make the most of them and get involved where you can! Who doesn’t love a digital pub quiz?!
Have you joined the University’s Student Chat Facebook group? Why not start a course WhatsApp chat? Or follow each other on Instagram? Social media is a fantastic way to get to know new people – and it’s super safe.
Apps like Bumble and Hinge can be used for making friends, not just dating. They’re great if you’re moving to a new place and want to get to know people who live in the area. Make sure to stay safe if you are using apps to make friends – take precautions and always tell someone where you are going when meeting an online friend and always meet in a public place.
Sporting activities are a great way to stay active, make mates, and become part of a team. Go Bulls!
There are lots of lovely spots and parks around all of our campuses to walk through. Make the most of the autumn weather and invite a course mate for a socially distant walk to get to know each other more.
The best friendships start with a simple hello. Be brave and say hi to someone new and they might just be a friend for life.
For further advice and guidance on starting your journey at Beds, visit the new Welcome Week digital platform. Created by the University and Beds SU, it’s a great place to find out about what to expect once term begins, how to make the most of your studies and more.
A Masters student from University of Bedfordshire has developed a primary school sports initiative to help address, reduce and manage mental health in early age children, using elements of martial arts practise.
The State of Youth Justice – a comprehensive analysis of the youth justice system by an academic from the University of Bedfordshire, published today by the National Association for Youth Justice (NAYJ) – found that the Covid-19 pandemic has had serious consequences for children in prison, including a significantly reduced time for education as well as social interactions with the outside world.
Throughout lockdown whilst students studied from home, staff at the University of Bedfordshire have been busy behind the scenes making each campus Covid-secure for new and returning students this autumn.
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