Hi everyone. Today’s post is from Fiona at ‘The Traffic Jam of Life’, who is currently in her last year at Southampton University. She’s here to talk to you today about making friendships at university and her experience…
“I’d like to emphasise the much-repeated phrase that university is not for everyone. I’m talking about the social and lifestyle elements of it – the type of course, the size of the uni and where you live in your first year for example, will radically make a difference to the people you meet without making much effort. However, the people you often meet in that crucial first year of study are rarely the people you’ll stay close to for the rest of your course!
In my case, I fell out with some of the girls I lived with in first year, which meant I had to look for new people to live with for second year. This might have crushed me had I not already made friends elsewhere in the first semester. This happens to a lot of people particularly in second semester or beginning of second year, so I can’t stress enough how important it is that you meet people from all over the university!
It’s hard to believe, but it’s very common that people drop out in first year, because the lifestyle change really is quite different for people who haven’t had to put themselves out there to meet people before. University is always thought to be one big party where everyone knows each other, but it just doesn’t work this way. In the first few months, you will be met with numerous circumstances where you don’t know anyone, and you must push yourself however nerve-wracking it feels.
I’m now in my final semester of university at Southampton, after four years which have absolutely flown by! I study French, Spanish and European Studies which has been a sociable course in the sense that the class sizes are mostly small and never have the same people in them, so you are constantly meeting new faces, even in final year.
However, I would say the downside of this has been that I’ve made few very close course friends; most people by second year have formed into small groups even if you know a lot of people individually. This year I’ve met even less people, and in general, I’ve made few new friends given that it’s been hard enough to find the time to stay in touch with good ones!
I honestly believe the best way to meet the broadest range possible of people at uni is through joining a few societies, but more importantly, sticking to them. Universities have societies for such a huge range of interests, hobbies and sports, so take advantage and get stuck in! You won’t make friends if you don’t turn up to socials or sessions regularly, so pick perhaps one or two and the friendships will blossom.
Whilst I made few proper best friends at uni, I made lots of friends who I have made amazing memories with; I wouldn’t have it any other way. Your time at university is short so make the most of it!”
Thank you so much to Fiona for collaborating with me on this post! In a few weeks I will be writing my own first year experience of friendships and this is such a different story to mine.
Want to talk to me more about this post, and potentially write one yourself? Find me on Twitter!