Aah University. An ever popular topic for students like me to write (read: complain) about. Having completed my first year at Exeter Uni, admittedly the second will be a lot more challenging academically, socially and financially. I’ve been very fortunate to end up at uni with two people that I hold quite dear. In fact they are probably my closest friends. We’re in different circles and schools, but now all have lectures in the same building. Crazy eh? I’m still kind of scared that I’ll lose them when more new friends come along this year in the form of freshers, and I’m angry at myself that I haven’t been able to spend more time with my two besties. But in reality, the best kind of friends are ones you can come back to and just pick up where you left off. A crazy idea.
I recently did a similar thing with a friend from primary school that I hadn’t seen in ten years. Ten years! We bonded over a Nandos, and now I’m crazy about her. But at this stage in my life where all my belongings are scattered about between home in Essex, and life in Exe, I feel like my friends too are scattered. It’s one thing I can’t get organised and it’s so frustrating to feel as if you’ve neglected people. I firmly believe in Dunbar’s Number, which theorises that you can only maintain 150 stable relationships. Thinking about how many people I know, that’s quite a small number.
Am I damaging my social life by hanging on to old friends? Have I ‘moved on’? Of course not, I still love my friends from home, but I’m so glad we move in different circles because I’ll get to know all of their lovely friends too. And it’ll be great. Of course, loads of new freshers will join my course so I’ll be busy meeting them too, and even though I’m here to ‘learn’, I’ll make the most of it, because I always have these two to bounce back on. And they’re right there with me down in Exeter. I couldn’t be happier or more proud that we’ve all got to where we are.
What I really want to say is that having a social life is bloody scary. What if you disappoint? What if you don’t make ANY friends? All relatively normal fears to have. And despite being slightly envious of those popular few in your circle/s who just seem to click with everyone, I have to remember they probably feel the same way. If you get bored enough in lectures to daydream (an easy feat, I kid you not) take a look around and know that all the 150 faces you see that look like they’ve got their heads screwed on, are really just headless chickens like you.
So chin up chicka! You’ve got people to meet.