Five things I wish someone told me about my social life at uni
When I was in my first few weeks of uni, I always asked older students about subjects and getting around: what subjects do you study next year? Is it hard? Is there a lot of reading? But I never asked about relationships or parties when I really, really should have. So to help you out if you’re in the same boat, here are five things I wish someone told me about my social life at uni.
Old vs new
Most of the time, the people in your high school squad will be attending different unis or TAFEs, or doing gap years. So seeing each other every day turns into… not so much. But sometimes you’re lucky and your timetables sync up, giving you the chance to see each other every week. However, in the instance you’re at uni five times a week, things can become a little hard.
It’s OK to grow apart, it’s OK to be a little (or a lot) jealous of new friends – there’s always Facebook, Skype, holidays and the weekends to catch up. But one thing’s for sure: you have to make the effort.
In high school, making friends was pretty easy because you got to see your mates every day. At uni, there’s no constant-everyday-friend you can greet at your locker. You’re constantly seeing new people, and I can guarantee -- unless your tute only has ten people in it or you’re just the friendliest person in the world -- you probably won’t get to know every single person in your class. You’ll befriend a select few, but even then it’s going to take a few weeks or months to get to know them. Class is a weekly thing, and you don’t want to pull the awkward, “So, what’s your Facebook?” after a minute of playing ‘introduce yourself’ with the class. So, don’t freak out if you haven’t solidified a friendship in first semester. Just go with the flow.
I know once you turn 18 and you get to uni there’s a desire to club and attend uni parties, and to publish it all on Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. Fair enough; I did the same thing, but the truth is you can live without constant partying. It’s a whole lot of fun, but it’s also sweaty, sticky, expensive and sometimes painful, and most of the time you won’t remember much. It’s 100 per cent OK to stay in for the night and say no to the shitty FOMO.
By now, you’ve probably started to notice that a lot of people you know are getting into relationships. I can’t exactly tell you why, but it sort of just happens. Some people will feel the pressure, the ‘accidental’ shade and a pinch of salt. I know I did, and I succumbed to it too. And if I only had one piece of advice I could give to a first-year, it would be: don’t f***ing fall for it.
Don’t force yourself into a relationship just for the sake of saying, “I have a GF/BF.” You’re going to spend anywhere between three to six years at uni – that’s plenty of time for anything, so try not to rush it.
It is so OK to be alone. And I don’t mean single; I mean sitting on your own and just chilling. Trust me when I say that sometime throughout this first year of uni, you’re going to need some me-time to do nothing but breathe. You’ll be away from friends, away from the gossip, away from the talk of looming assignments – just away. Plug in your earphones, sit back and relax.
Steffanie is studying a Bachelor of Journalism at Monash University.