I’m giving up on finding friends at uni.
I’ve tried being outgoing, adding everyone from my tutes on Facebook and suggesting we go to the pub after every class. I’ve tried being quiet and agreeable, complimenting everyone for their ideas and basically being a blank canvas for people to project their egos onto. I’ve even tried just being myself (gasp) and found a bunch of people that liked me, but god forbid we actually hang out beyond the semester. Where the hell are all the life-altering friendships and romances that Hollywood and cooler older siblings made us believe uni was all about?
Looking into it, I seemed doomed from the start. Friendships were easily made in high school when we saw each other every day and had loads of recreational time together. Now I study a degree with a grand total of six compulsory contact hours a week, and everyone seems to be in a rush to leave after every class.
My friends from England and the US have it completely different. A lot of them moved hours away from their family home for uni and are far more entrenched in student and campus life. Finding friends is easy; they live with their classmates and make meals with them. They drink with them, party with them, spend crazy nights and lazy mornings with them. Here in Sydney we stay with our parents and keep friendships with people we’ve known for ages. Sometimes we even do the same degrees as our best friends, and we can end up keeping to ourselves and being pretty insular. Sometimes we try to keep these old friendships stable and we realise how bloody difficult it is, so we throw heaps of time at them trying to keep them afloat. Maybe that’s why it seems like everyone else at uni is too busy to start new friendships.
I used to let it really bum me out when I thought of all the friends I haven’t made at uni. I was often in a class full of people with similar interests and I thought it was only logical that we’d become friends. But the more I actually spoke about it with my mates, and even the other students in my class, the more I realised we were all going through the same thing. We were all a little lost coming into uni, not sure what we were supposed to do and who was supposed to be our friends. In a weird, selfish way, I was kind of comforted by the idea that it wasn’t just me bumbling through uni without friends.
Finally realising that it’s not just me means that I can finally give up on trying to find uni friends. Fuck lifelong friendships and finding your soulmate- now I’m closer to my high school mates and found some solid friends through work, the people I live with and travel. I may not have made any real uni friends, but I’m pretty damn okay with that.