You may not know, but today is International Friendship Day, and Huggle* has asked me to write about what I think makes a good friend. Huggle is a social app which helps you to discover and connect with people who go to the places you go. It’s a wonderful app for making friends and meeting like-minded people. You can download it here for free

When I moved to London for University in September 2014, I was very nervous about making friends and not knowing anyone in the city (and having social anxiety doesn’t help either). Thankfully I’ve met some of the best friends I’ve ever had in my 2 years at King’s College so far, as well as some of the worst. A little advice I have for people starting university in September is to be nice and chatty with everyone, but don’t expect the people you meet in fresher’s week to become your best friends. Some of them will, or maybe none of them, but that’s okay. I personally put my trust in a select few people, and some of them turned out to be awful, so I’d advise to get out there and meet lots of people in your halls, course, and generally in your university/city. I know an app like Huggle would have perhaps been useful for someone like me in fresher’s week. I was so shy I ended up getting drunk most nights just to be able to talk to people!

In my opinion, the most important qualities of a good friend are honesty, trust, things in common and support/interest in each other. There’s nothing I enjoy more than spending time with my friends, especially in London where there’s so much we can do! For example, my friend Rhea and I always check out new vegan food restaurants and cocktail bars, whereas Suzanna and I would be more likely to grab a pint at a pub. Skyping or Facebook messaging my best friend Rupert, who studies at university in Canada, is always one of the highlights of my week. Ollie and I always go to the cinema (or watch Netflix) together, it’s so much fun to watch movies with someone who has the same taste as you! We’re going to see Suicide Squad when it comes out next week, I’m so excited!

Huggle is really easy to use, you just log in with your Facebook (don’t worry, it won’t post for you), and it’ll show the “Places Nearby”. You can check out who is at the places you’re visiting, send messages, and so much more. I imported the places I’ve been from my Instagram account, and the app showed me 710 people who had been to 50 of the places I’ve visited around London. Don’t worry, no one can see your current location unless you want them to, and Huggle has been praised for their safety features. Don’t forget to enable geolocation – Huggle automatically checks you in, but you need to enable geolocation for it to work.

A cool idea for bloggers would be to use the app at any blogging or vlogging conventions, like Summer in the City or Vidcon, then you can connect with likeminded people you may have met at the event but had forgotten their Twitter username etc. There are so many times I’ve met awesome girls at blogging events, but forgotten their names and blogs! (oops). The same applies to concerts, events like MCM Comic Con, or even your local gym. You’re more likely to get along with people that have similar interests / favourite places, and Huggle helps you connect with them.

Another aspect of the Huggle app that made me keen to promote it is their anti-face-swipe stance. I’ve never personally used Tinder (or similar apps), and never will, because I hate being judged and judging others based on appearance. Honestly, I think it makes many people feel ugly and inadequate and makes them focus on their flaws to have a face swiping system. Some love it (usually the really attractive people), but it’ll never be for me. Huggle actually conducted research about this and say that 62% of users feel conscious and depressed over their appearance when using these apps. And of course, it’s much more important to meet people that you have things in common with, or what will you talk about?

What do you think makes a good friend, and would you ever try something like Huggle?

Happy International Friendship Day!

Thanks for reading,

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*this blog post is sponsored by Huggle.