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There is so much stigma around doing things alone, no more so than at university. I’ve missed out on going to events that I know I would have loved simply because I didn’t want people judging me for not being there with a friend. And the irony is that missing these events also means missing out on the opportunity to meet new people and make friends.

Now, more than ever, we have to push ourselves to attend online (and some in-person) events by ourselves so we can make the most of being at UCL. UCL offers so much to students new and old alike with Union run events and even more society specific ones. Going to these things alone is scary, but believe me it’s worth it. 

By Alexandra Dewing, BA Comparative Literature

Find the societies that appeal to you and go say hi 

When it comes to making friends at university, societies are essentially your fast-track tickets. There are so many societies at UCL it’s certain that you’ll find one or two that will suit you. The whole point of societies is to bring people together over a common interest — whether that’s film or parkour. This, admittedly, doesn’t make going alone to their events any less scary but it does mean you don’t have to go through the awkward ‘finding a shared passion’ bit before you can get stuck into a conversation. Simply: it makes it so much easier to find friends. This year, the Union is trying to bring as many in-person events back as possible, but there’ll be loads of online events that you can also try out.

For example, I’m a huge nerd. So when I found out the UCL had its own Sci-Fi and Fantasy society I knew that would be a fantastic place to start. I clicked ‘Going’ on their event for an all-day D&D one- shot and showed up absolutely terrified. But as soon as I sat down, awkwardly said hi to my fellow players, and started rolling dice I relaxed and ended up having the time of my life. Then, a week later, when the society held a boardgames night it was a little less terrifying going alone because I knew I’d know at least one person there, and even if I didn’t I’d have a good time anyway. Now, the people I’ve met through the society are some of my closest friends and I’m even on committee. And remember you can try as many different societies and different events as you like, just be careful not to spread yourself too thin. 

Try going to events outside of uni 

Another daunting but amazing thing to do is just to take yourself out and embrace going solo. I’ve gone alone to the theatre, to the cinema, and even music concerts. Just because you don’t have anybody to go with, or your friends aren’t into the same things you are, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it anyway. You should! Not only does this mean you don’t have to miss out on events, but it also helps you realise that really nobody cares. In fact, a lot of people will respect that you have the confidence to go out and do things alone, even if you don’t feel the slightest bit confident. And once again, who knows who you might meet when you’re standing at the barrier about to see your favourite band. 

Putting yourself out there in an attempt to meet new people and make new friends is always nerve- wracking. But going to events alone is worth it in the end, regardless to whether you come out of it with a new friend or not, if it’s something you want to do you’ll have a fantastic time no matter what.