In my sister’s own words, “friendships at uni seem so temporary” and while it sounds like we’re all falling in and out of fake friendships, I don’t think that’s the point. University is the place where I think I’ve grown the most in the shortest period of time – I’m much more in tune with myself than I was when I left school.
One of my closest friends from last year once told me a story about a girl that he was really close with in their first year, but that they grew apart and by their third year didn’t speak much. I remember thinking at the time how sad it was – I thought through all of my best friends and couldn’t imagine us not speaking to each other in two years’ time. The ironic thing? I’ve grown apart from the friend that told me that story, even though he was one of my closest friends for an entire year. That’s not because of any drama that happened between us or any bad blood, but just that life happened.
The first year of uni is all about finding your feet – everyone’s rushing to make friends, go out as much as possible and fuel anything that adds to “the university experience”. I commuted from home in my first year, (and ended up commuting for most of my 2nd year too) and I think that did have an impact on how my friendships were formed and maintained. As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, I don’t form friendships based on going out, which seems to be a massive part of university culture, so how was it going to work? There’s only so much you can do at societies and in lectures, and commuting further removed me from university life. With the help of a friend who would let me stay over when I needed it, and through a lot of patience with Southern Rail, I managed to make it through first year.
Second year brings all kinds of new stresses with it; the workload being the main one. I’m at a point now where if I don’t see you in lectures or in the library, the friendship will take a million times more effort to happen – and I think that’s just how adult friendships work. But just because we aren’t going out every other day doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t be there if a friend ever needed a hand. That said, I’m definitely becoming a realist; if any kind of relationship fails, that’s just how life works and you get up and move on. We need to realise that there are people that you’ll grow apart from, there are people that you will fall out with, and there are people that you will never see again.
Maybe it’s the fact that in the past few years, I’ve seen so many people close to me lose their lives far too young, but I know now how unpredictable life is and it makes me do everything differently. So what if a friendship doesn’t work out? Younger Thivya would have wasted so much emotional and mental energy on trying to pick at the situation to figure out what went wrong and how to clean up the mess, but I’m now at a point where I’ve learnt to just let things go. (For anyone interested, I’d definitely recommend reading The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight – it definitely helped me out with wasting less of my energy on things that aren’t worth it). I’ve learnt to just give things time and space, and everything will work out the way it’s supposed to.
It took me a good while to find my people at university. I met my two best friends quite early on in first year; Holly and I stuck like glue straight away, but Anisa and I really weren’t that close until a few months ago. Now, I can’t picture my life without them. I joined my university’s music society in first year and it was one of the best things I could have done for myself; I met some of the most incredible people in the process, and I owe it to them for helping me be so comfortable at uni. In the same way that some friendships have grown, others have slowed down and that’s okay.
My main point is, if this helps anyone out there who’s going through a wobbly time in their social life at the moment, when this all blows over (and it will!) you will feel so much better having let all the weak relationships go. I know it sounds morbid, but if I were to have some tragic accident tomorrow, would I be happy with the way I was handling things? I’d like to think that making sure I’m not wasting precious time and energy on pointless things is good for my general wellbeing; I feel like my life is going through a filter right now and I’m really looking forward to the end result. While this part is definitely rocky, it’s going to be worth it.
I hope you all have a lovely week, and I’ll see you in the next one.
This post’s song recommendation comes from The 1975 – I admit I didn’t really pay much attention to this track until I saw the band perform it live at the BRITs, and I loved the performance in general. Do give it a listen here, it has a really nice vibe 🙂