Everyone told me that university would make up the best years of my life, and you know what? They haven’t been wrong yet. Perhaps it’s the independence that I didn’t even realise I so desperately needed, or maybe it’s the people I’ve met from all over the country, from all over the world. Either way, at the tail end of my first year of university I can only hope that my second year is just as fulfilling.

As every Fresher at every university across the world, I was anxious that I wouldn’t make any friends during the crucial first couple of weeks. The mystery of who I would be living with for the year consumed my thoughts: how many boys, how many girls? Would they like me? What if they didn’t like me? What if I didn’t like them? It’s safe to say I worked myself up into a right muddle and no reassuring mantras from my mum were doing any good. “You’re all in the same boat”, she’d say, and I’d be thinking but what if no one wants to be in my boat? What if I sail through my first year in a one-man dingy?

I have, however, been very fortunate in my flat mates and we’ve spent the last few months making some of the best memories of my life. The only downside being how smug my mum is now when giving me life advice.

One of the girls I’m living with in second year wasn’t so fortunate in her own flat mates, and we actually found her on our second night on her own nursing three tequila shots bought by them before they abandoned her. We asked if she was alright, and if she wasn’t as outgoing as she was we probably would have parted ways at that bar but (as she told us later) she was keen to make friends and so offered us the drinks and kept a conversation going. Numbers were exchanged and we invited her back to our flat for film nights and pre drinks over the next couple of weeks until she was just a part of the group and it was difficult to remember that she didn’t actually live with us.

My point is, that if you’re heading to university this year and you’re worried about making friends, my advice to you is to put yourself out there. You won’t make many friends if you don’t go out there and find some, and, as it pains me to admit, my mum really is right: you’re all in the same boat. People will be as keen to be your friend as you are to be friends with them. University is supposed to be all about taking risks and trying new things so embrace it, especially those first couple of weeks before the work really starts and you can spend your days and nights having fun and making memories.

Make it count.


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