One of the things I think most people are worried about when it comes to starting university or moving away from home is how you keep your friendships going. Throughout life you will meet loads of new people, but you will also lose people too, as unfortunate as it is. When I lived in Cardiff, I had a group of friends and now, ten years later, I only talk to one of them. Then when I moved to Devon, I made a new group of friends who have remained in my life since, but now that I’m at university, you realise how hard it can be to keep in touch when everyone’s so busy, and you’re living in different places around the country.
In my life I have always had different friendship groups. At home, I have my school friends and my swimming club friends. At university, I have my flat mates, my future house mates, my society friends, my tour guiding friends, and my course friends. When I leave university, I know that a lot of these people won’t be people I will keep in contact with, just because our relationship isn’t close enough. That’s kind of how life goes.
You realise who the important people are when you’re not with them anymore, and they still make the effort to try and talk to you, or try and meet up. I’ve come to realise that if you’re always the one making the effort, and the other person always leaves it up to you, then maybe you should wait for them to make that move. And if they don’t, then maybe you should question if this friendship is worth it. I know I get frustrated when I’m always the one to start conversations, because it makes me feel like the other person, or people don’t care. This may not really be the case, but that thought will still be at the back of my mind.
In life you learn to move on and make new starts. Towards the end of last year, I was tired of school and I just needed a new start, and university was that for me. I am still happy to come home and visit my friends and catch up, but I often find myself talking about my new university life, because that’s all I really can talk about. I love it so much, and I can’t imagine my life if I had chosen not to go to university.
However, sometimes university isn’t all it’s hyped up to be. I know people who have trouble fitting in, and meeting new people in a new environment, and so the first year is a struggle when they don’t have loads of friends surrounding them. In these cases, they rely on their old school friends which isn’t a bad thing either. It’s good to keep old relationships going, but it’s also good to widen you friendship group and meet people you otherwise would not be able to get to know.
It’s complicated, but if this is something you’re worried about, you really don’t have to. You will find out who your true friends are, and this whole thing is an experience for you to learn who you are and what you want. So make sure you don’t waste these opportunities.