Applying for university is an incredibly exciting time. Often you'll be moving away, living on your own for the first time, and seeking that all-important independence from mum and dad.

It can, however, also be really scary - especially if you're moving to a place where you don't know anybody. Because I know that lots of people worry about making friends, I thought I'd gather some stories from our students which show just how easy it is to make friends for life here at Leeds Beckett.

Mia - Computer Animation and Visual Effects student

First of all, let me say - real friends will like you for you. There is no need to change to ‘fit in’, and you don’t need to drink or go clubbing (if that’s not your thing) to make friends at university, as I found. I’m quite an introverted person, and I do not require company to feel comfortable or happy. However, socialising can be fun with the right people. I found that the best friends are usually a lot closer than what you think, and in my case, we happened to share the same door step.

This is a story of a Southerner, foreign to Leeds, who unexpectedly made best friends with a proper Yorkshire lass. We first met when we moved into the same flat on campus, sharing with 10 other people. Although there are many traits that make us seem like complete opposites, we share a few interests that brought us together, such as gaming. We soon bonded over this and became gaming buddies.

I have a portable gaming device that has a monitor and sound system. It is compact and transportable, which inspired a great idea – we attached it to a computer chair with wheels! I would wheel this into the living room or into our rooms, and we would transform the room into an ideal gaming space. It was great, and although we could both play with headsets on, games are best played with the input of people around you. We were able to create a great atmosphere that even our other flatmates could enjoy.

After living on campus we ended up living in a house together for second year. We have now shared many amazing adventures together – even some away from computer screens and consoles!

Kate - Events Management student

I attended a Leeds Beckett Open Day in 2015, where I sat next to a girl who was a similar age to myself. We soon got chatting, and decided to keep in touch - despite not knowing if we would both end up studying at Leeds Beckett. When results day came around and we found out the universities we’d attend, we contacted each other. We were happy to find we were both set to join Leeds Beckett to study the same course, Events Management. We have been friends ever since, and always laugh at how we remained friends despite not knowing our future plans (not to mention living 4 hours apart from each other!)

Kate - brand ambassador image. Kate and a friend.

Mario - Business Management student

Before leaving for my studies in Leeds, I was excited and fearful at the same time. I could not wait to embark on all of the adventures that I knew this fantastic city could offer, but I was afraid of not knowing anyone, being alone, and missing out on events at home while I was gone. Looking back now I feel silly for worrying about it. Whilst missing events at home with loved ones did make me miss them from time to time, I was able to remind myself that nobody back home was experiencing the new and amazing things that I was, here in a foreign city.

One of the most incredible parts of coming to study at Leeds Beckett was the opportunity to make new friends from all over the world. I have made have some of the best friends of my life, from places like India, Scotland, Brazil, Australia, America, Bahrain and Qatar. Having the opportunity to spend time with people from all over the word opened my eyes to the way that things are done in different countries.

I also met Charles, a British student. We ended up becoming best friends. We often work together to complete work, and this is really helpful to me as he’s helped me to understand things I struggled with, such IT. As he’s confident when speaking, he’s usually the presenter of our group work, whereas I would help more behind-the-scenes with the assignment – researching and structuring the work. It’s been great to find someone who I can exchange skills with, and we’ve helped each other in the best way that we could. I never expected to get to know such a helpful person, and I'm very grateful for the experience.

Eva - Dance student

My Friend Kate and I are on the same course, BA (Hons) Dance. We met at our student halls (Carnegie Village), as we were living in the same flat. We were so lucky to not only be living in the same flat, but have our rooms next door to each other! This was an amazing move from Leeds Beckett, because now we can practice dance routines together as we live so close to the dance studios. We can also work on our projects and general homework together, either in the library (again which is so close) or even in our PJs while eating waffles in our flat! It’s so amazing to have the support of someone who is going through the exact same thing as you living right next door. Being so far away from home can get really hard sometimes, and it just great to know you have someone so close who you can always talk to.

Eva Lourie - Brand ambassador. Flatmates image.

Emmanuella - Leeds Beckett alumna

Being an international student, it was pretty scary coming to Leeds and being unsure of whether I would be able to adjust to the new culture (both within and outside of university) and most importantly, if I would make any friends.

However, this became much easier as I quickly realised that the latter was a concern for everyone - local students included. I met my best friend while we were both student ambassadors at an Open Day. I had been struggling with my hair, as the climate (worst winter ever) made my hair break and I had no idea where to find a salon that could take care of African hair.

Jennifer had her hair braided and it looked amazing - crazy colours and amazing. I approached her during a break and complimented her hair, and then asked where she had it done - and she said she did it herself! She offered to help me with mine, and the rest is history. We have been friends for close to 5 years now, and we still share hair tips.

(For anybody interested, I did finally find a hair salon in Kirkgate Market that specialises in Afro hair... you’re welcome!)

Chloe - Criminology student

Before heading into second year, I posted on social media looking for people to fill two spaces in my student house. When two girls messaged with interest about the rooms, my flatmate and I met up with them, and we all clicked instantly! We all turned 21 last year, so celebrated in a different city for each birthday. I have loved my adventure at Leeds Beckett University, especially meeting people like these girls!

Chloe Burdiss - brand ambassador, Varsity group picture

Ben - Computer Forensics and Security student

In my first year at Leeds Beckett, I decided to join the Rowing Athletic Union squad. I am not the sportiest person, but I enjoy exercise. I decided to join rowing to make friends and improve my fitness. One of the team members, Dan, helped me a lot during the training as I wasn't as ‘sporty’ as the other members. During contests like running, speed-rowing or climbing, he'd cheer me on and we would have such a laugh. It made the experience a lot more enjoyable. I find it really helped me to join the Athletic Union. It’s a great way to make friends, and it really improves your experience at university if you've moved away.

Zaenab - Media, Communication, Cultures student

On my very first day at Leeds Beckett, at an induction session, somebody came up to me asking about the timetable for our course. She had a thick accent, and her English was a little broken. I struggled to understand her, so I was responding rather slowly, to give myself time to work out what she had asked. I thought she probably hated me, and I was really worried that she would think I was not being respectful.

It turns out, out of everyone she’d met so far, I was the most patient. Fast forward to almost three years later, and Lulia is the best friend I could have hoped to meet. I’m so thankful that out of all the universities in the world, she chose to come here. I’m so proud of how far she’s come since then. We’re so glad we found each other, and although we’re planning on being in different cities after graduation, I just know we’re still going to be best mates when we’re old!

Zaenab - brand ambassador. Image with a friend in Salford.

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