Why you shouldn’t freak out if you haven’t made lifelong friends in sem one
Have you just landed in your first sem of your first year of uni and feel like you haven’t met any new people? Don’t stress my friend – so long as you’re attending classes and doing homework, you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing. Here’s why there is really no need to freak out if you don’t make lifelong friends before the mid-year break.
New groups will open up eventually
The thing about semester one is that all the great ideas for societies and clubs just haven’t been done yet. Maybe you’ve personally noticed it, or the girl from your Drugs and Society elective got vocal about the lack of a Silent Disco Chess Club.
I if you find yourself disappointed on Stall Day/O-Week having not found your perfect club – don’t worry! New niche groups are opening up all the time – come semester two, who knows what will exist: Chiropractic Students for No-Rules Soccer? Gender Studies Majors for Slow Pot Cooking? Don’t forget you can make them happen.
In sem two, you’ll find it easier to be passionate
It mightn’t be until second sem that you’ll be free from beginner units and obligatory electives. Once you get decidedly into certain areas of your course of study, you’re going to want to talk about those things with like-minded students.
Luckily for you in sem two, slowly but surely, everyone’s in-tutorial public speaking butterflies start to go away. Staff you are familiar with will ask you more for your brand of input. Hang in there – you’re going to have a lot of time yet to talk about the things you love.
By second year, you can totally relish in shared apathy
There’s always the communal experience of just generally being second years. Hear me out. By second year, you’ve definitely gotten sick of your daily commute. Without wanting to paint you as lazy, there’s a good chance you now leave yourself T-Minus 40 seconds to get to class.
There is some really great fodder here for easy friendships. Just drop this bomb upon arrival to class: “All these fresh-faced first years have nooo idea where anything is.” Guaranteed nods of approval, at least.
You will be taking classes with the same people for years – you'll all open up
Here’s why you shouldn’t be worrying at all, even if you get through both sem one and two without attending any Hollywood-tier college parties or making any kind of solid brick-hard bonds: you’ve got another two years at least, man! If you’re doing medicine, law, or any double degree, hoo boy, you’ve got a while longer.
When it comes to second year, those who were feeling like the course wasn’t for them will move to other disciplines, and you’ll eventually become a core part of graduating students for your selected year in your selected degree. Sometimes the strongest bonds come through years of mutual silence.
Don't let ideas of what you "should" be doing get you down; study is the important thing
Probably the most important thing to touch on is this: don’t let your chosen university’s advertising campaigns (as well as the influence of largely US-based college movies and TV shows) form your idea of what university life reality is “meant” to be like.
As someone who did a paper on the history of universities, I can assure you that all the drunken tales of recklessness and debauchery in even the oldest Institutions like Oxford have historically been waaaaay overrated and often sensationalised. You’re there to graduate in your chosen field, which means that you’re there to study. The parties are cool, but not as common as they’re made out to be.
Jonathon is studying journalism at Murdoch University in Perth.