Making Friends at Leeds

By Meichen Yi (Imogen)

My first year in Leeds was a journey of getting involved in a new environment. If you are an international student like me and want your life to be satisfying, have a look at these steps.

First, stop self-handicapping and be brave. I had concerns about talking with strangers in the first few weeks, but I soon realised people’s focus might not on the colour of my eyes or skins, my accent or language, but more on the conversation contents. Timidity stops us speaking and concerns make us silent, so I started not to treat myself as an “outsider”. I therefore tried to find more chances to communicate with school mates and even professors, attended events like “Lunch With Economists”, and finally received knowledge and friendship.

Some of my Christmas gifts

Second, explore different societies. The first year’s studying environment is more relaxed, which enabled me to grab the opportunity of attending various societies, including some that are irrelevant to my degree like Film-Making, to more practical ones like Trading & Investment. I therefore made friends from diverse cultural backgrounds with different interests and habits, and they all have some shining merits that attract me.

Third, find your paradises. Though sometimes we have to move out of our comfort zone and welcome challenges, there also should be a place making us relaxed. Ellerslie Global Residence (the accommodation that many friends of mine lived in) was such a good place for me. People were from all over the world, but all friendly. We discussed different topics, held movie-nights, celebrated birthdays and festivals to spend time together and created a wonderful year.

These were the basic steps about how I made friends in my first year. It was their friendship and love that made my life more colourful.

Leeds University Business School – Economics

Instagram: @imogenhadley.ymc