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Making the most of your LGBTQ+ uni experience

Going to university is an exciting time. You’re starting a new phase of your life where you’re meeting new people, broadening your community and learning different subjects – and you may even be moving to a new town or country.

This time of change can also bring uncertainty, which can be daunting – especially if you identify as LGBTQ+. To help you make a smooth transition into university life, we spoke with our partners at Mental Health UK (MHUK), who shared some advice and tips for LGBTQ+ students starting university.

Making the most of your LGBTQ+ uni experience

What should LGBTQ+ university students be aware of?

You’ll be in a different environment and meeting new people, so you might be concerned about sharing your sexuality with your new friends and you may worry about being accepted in your new surroundings.

You probably won’t have your usual support network around you, but this is a great opportunity to break out of your bubble and meet new, like-minded people. You could also explore the LGBTQ+ community at university or in your area, which could offer you a safe space in a new town or city.

 

Making the most of your university experience as an LGBTQ+ student

 

Find your support network

We all need people in our lives who understand and accept us. Meeting other LGBTQ+ students or people with similar interests can give you insight into university life and how to make the most of your time there, so seek out the LGBTQ+ society on campus or join clubs related to your interests. If you’ve moved away from home, this is a great way to start re-building the networks and communities you left behind.

Bigger cities may also have an LGBTQ+ centre that runs groups, services and classes. Apps like MeetUp can also give you an overview of the LGBTQ+ events in your area.

Coming out as LGBTQ+ at university

University is often a time when people come out for the first time – but it’s different for everyone, so it’s up to you how and when is most comfortable for you. Our advice? Try confiding in friends you think will be most understanding and able to support you. It’s not an easy thing to do, but once you have a support group you can trust, it will get easier.

Staying safe

A big part of university life is about going out and socialising, which can sometimes mean late nights and fuzzy memories. Enjoy yourself, but make sure you take precautions when you’re out and about – let your friends know where you are, share taxis where possible, always make sure your phone is charged and that you have money for transport. It’s important to be vigilant, especially if you’re travelling alone.

Taking care of your health

It’s also important to find out where your local sexual health clinic is so you can get access to free testing and condoms. And, if you’re planning on socialising, make sure you know your limit when it comes to alcohol and educate yourself about drugs. It’s all about staying safe, even when you’re having fun!

Need more advice? Check out helpful resources like StonewallNational Student Pride and Student Minds for insightful articles and information.

Or, if you want to learn more about what to expect at university – read about the university myths we've busted.

Lloyds Banking Group is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and has been recognised as a leading employer when it comes to LGBTQ+ equality.

Stonewall top 100 Employer, FT outstanding, Stonewall highly commended network group

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