I was pretty fucking excited to finish high school. I was finally going to be able to ditch the classes that I hated (sorry General Maths), the shitty people in my year that I had spent the past six years with and start fresh at uni.
I was keen to get my life together, find some new friends and finally chuck out my high school uniform.
Aside from the fact that my life is still a mess and I’ve realised that picking an outfit every day is actually the worst, I also didn’t really make any uni friends.
Sure, there was people that I would sit next to in tutorials and occasionally hang out with in lectures, but I never seemed to click with anyone enough to call them a genuine friend or hang out with them outside uni.
It didn’t matter how many awkward ice breakers our tutors made us do, or how many group assignments we were forced to complete, we never seemed to get each other, at least not in the way that I did with my high school friends. All my friendships in high school seemed to be so easy. Yeah, we were forced to spend time with each other in class but we also genuinely wanted to hang out outside of school as well.
I finished my first semester of uni thinking that I must be doing something wrong- this wasn’t the uni life that everyone told me about. I wasn’t spending Friday nights at the uni bar or hanging out in cafes with my friends after class. If I didn’t have to be on campus I was either working or hanging out with my ‘real’ friends. As soon as a tutorial or lecture finished I’d either be heading to the silent study areas in the library or getting the train home- I didn’t have a reason to stick around.
Everyone had told me that uni was the place where I would make lifelong friends but by the end of my first year I still hadn’t found anyone that I clicked with.
Turns out, I’m not the only one. When I spoke to my friends who went to other universities I realised that everyone’s a bit lost when it comes to finding and making new friends. Some had basically finished their entire degree without finding someone who they would stick by after graduation and others knew heaps of people but wouldn’t speak to any of them outside the uni campus.
The thing is, people will tell you that uni will be this amazing experience where you’ll meet tonnes of people who will be there for you till you’re old and grey. And maybe some people do. But if you don’t manage to find someone you want to stick around with when you’re a uni, don’t stress. Just because you don’t have a squad like high school doesn’t mean you’re doing uni ‘wrong’ or that you’re wasting your uni years. There’s plenty of ways to meet people, through work and sport and whatever else you spend your time doing, that if you don’t pick up a buddy during your lectures or tutes, it’s not the end of the world.