After what must seem like months of planning – choosing what course you’re going to study, going through the application process, eagerly (or anxiously!) waiting to see if you’ve been offered a place, enrolling in your units – the wait is over!
Uni is about to start. Soon, you’ll be settling into tutorials and lectures, learning to navigate LearnLine and the library, and starting your first assessments and tests. There’s a lot happening!
For some students, making friends might be a top priority. For others, it may be less important. If you’re one of CDU’s many online students, you might even be wondering if it's possible to make friends studying externally (hint: it is).
Uni friends create enjoyable shared experiences and they can improve your academic performance
Why friends at uni are important
Friends at uni will not only create enjoyable shared experiences during an important time of your life, they can also help improve your academic performance. Your friends are who you turn to when you’re confused about an assignment or a deadline; they're your study buddies that keep you accountable and on track with your studies.
Top tips for making uni friends
Being a valuable, interested classmate will make your friend-making mission all the easier.
1. Join a student club
Exploring new opportunities is a huge part of studying and there are student clubs for just about everything - from groups related to your course, to sports and exercise clubs, to interest-based and cultural societies. The best part? There's no limit to how many you can join! Check out all many clubs run through the CDU Student Association.
Studying online? Get involved in course-related clubs and groups to stay involved and engaged with the day-to-day news. Join their Facebook pages to stay tuned in, wherever you’re based.
2. Be prepared for class (yes, really!)
Being prepared for class is a huge confidence booster for online and on campus students alike. Knowing the answers to questions, being actively engaged in conversations and being a valuable, interested classmate will make your friend-making mission all the easier.
3. Put faces to names at Simulation Blocks and Intensives
It’s not uncommon to hear of online students making friends for life when meeting fellow students at intensives.
If you're an online student, you'll likely be on campus at some stage for an intensive unit or completing a placement close to home. For nursing students, this is an on-campus simulation block; for engineering students or community studies students, it's a two-week intensive.
This is an ideal chance to meet your classmates face-to-face and get to know the people whose names and faces you see on screen week after week. It’s not uncommon to hear of online students making friends for life when meeting fellow students at these intensives!
This is how Emma and Charlotte bonded. Despite only having met during their two-week long Simulation Blocks in Sydney, they've become good friends.
"Always good to spend a week with a friend. As external Nursing students we can struggle sometimes but having our last 2 SIM blocks together has certainly made this external student thing so much better. Another Sydney SIM block successfully completed!" - Charlotte, via Instagram
4. Go global
Making friends at home is one thing, but have you ever considered making friends from universities across the globe? A study abroad program could see you do a portion of your studies overseas. This could be a two-week intensive program or upwards of two semesters living and studying at a university in Europe, the UK, Asia or North America.
A group of CDU Environmental Science students on their 2018 field intensive to the Galapagos Islands.
5. Don't go it alone
Sometimes – even with all the friends in the world – navigating uni can be tough. If you're struggling to settle into uni, know when to find support. You never know, you may even make friends through the process! Find out about support for CDU students who may be struggling with your coursework, experiencing difficulties outside of uni, or under financial strain.