The Social Side

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Good Evening Readers,

Tonight’s article is all about the secondary most important part of university. ‘The social side’ to the whole experience. We have to admit, it is pretty important. For some people, the social side is easy, for others, it is challenging, for others – it isn’t something they even consider to fret about but university, like the other levels of education, is still on the social side and there is still things to consider. If not to consider, things I would like to pass to you from my experiences of ‘social life’ at university!

“Look around the room now. These people that you’ve made friends with, by the third year – maybe even second year – you may not be friends and you may not be close. That is okay. You’ve latched to these people at the moment because you were all in the same lonely boat but as time passes on, you’ll meet other people and friendships will form. Let whatever happens, happen and don’t worry about it!”.

I would love to say this is EXACTLY what my lecturer said, alas she did not. This is probably an ‘over-dramatised’ version of what she said. To be honest, the first couple of sentences are the closest to what I can remember she said. The rest?…. Dramatic effect?

When beginning university, amongst all the sea of worries and frets you have, once of them (maybe) about ‘making friends’ and from the times I’ve spent answering queries on The Student Room, it’s a big fret to a lot of prospective students. Completely natural! Making friends at university is a BIG thing. If you are not lucky enough to have someone you know from your area going to the same university as you, you’re going to be making new friends. Whether it’s from living in halls, on your course, in a society and so on. There are MANY social circles and a lot you can fit into and plenty of potential to make new friends and friendship groups.

I would like to state, my views may be a little bias. I say this because with studying Drama, all the first; second and third years know each other, or at least know of one another. We are a social bunch. I know for a fact we are pretty much the only course at my university that is like this. Therefore, bare that in mind with some of the things I’ll say.

I can certainly say that the starting statement was true for me with people in my friendship group. I’d say that my friendship groups have shifted across every year. However, there are some people that have always remained the same. However, they are people that I was best friends with in the first year, but no longer talk to in my third year, so, you must understand friendship groups do shift throughout university and that’s okay.

As I’ve stated, you can either make friends through your halls, your course, societies and many other ways. However, I should state at this point, I know it is not easy to make new friends or even approach new people and that’s okay, do you know why? Because there are plenty of people like that at university! If you ever think you’re alone in something at university, chances are, you aren’t. There is always someone who is going through or been through what you are going through and feeling – as I’ve stated before, everybody is in the same boat at university.

Having a social life at university is very important. It’s supporting to know that when you are fed up of your studies and need a break that there are people you can chill with, be comfortable with and just do everything and nothing with. Equally, it’s supporting know that you and those people can support each other through the hardships of university and go through everything together! It’s very true when they say you’ll make some life long friends whilst at university. Don’t let that opportunity go to waste!

One thing I will say is this; friendship drama never disappears. I tried for a good year and a half to believe that because I was at university, friendship drama would stop. It does not and I’ve come to accept that no matter what age you are, that kind of drama is always going to exist in some way or form. What I will say is though, if friendship drama goes happen, just try and resolve it as quickly as possible because it is not worth it. If they are people that you cherish, fight for them and keep them close. If they are toxic people that you do not need in your life, be rid of them. Just waste time and do not create excuses for people. Life is short and your time at university is even shorter – spend it with people that you can make memories with and have a bloody good time with. Celebrate your achievements with those your cherish and celebrate theirs and support each other when the going gets tough because at university, the going will get tough and you do not want to do that alone.

In previous articles, I’ve written largely about loneliness whilst at university and it’s important to know that this will happen with and without a friendship – but at least with them, you’ve got people you can go to in situations such as those.

Finally, I cannot say I’m great at sharing tips of ‘how to make friends’ but I’ll give it a shot, why not!

  • At the beginning be polite and open. Say “hi” when the opportunity presents itself and just enquire about where they are from, why they came to this university and their studies. You have a lot of material to work with when you first start university.
  • Take opportunities to go to social events. SU Events; House Parties; Study Groups – whatever it is, try it out. You never know – you might make a friend!
  • Don’t be downhearted if someone you have become friends with has another group of friends – either become part of that group or go make your own!
  • Remember there are PLENTY of people at university that will share your likes, dislikes, hobbies and so on. It’s just about finding them!
  • Make opportunities to do things with people. Study groups, lunch, drinking – whatever it is, suggest something and go do it!

Good Luck!

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