Going to a University that none of my friends went to.

Don’t you think it’s weird how children always find it so easy making friends with literally anyone? Why do we, as young adults/adults, find it such a nerve-wracking thing to do? It’s such a simple thing to do – saying hi!

It’s the biggest fear in any situation that requires meeting new people. It is also one of the main reasons that, when we have to go into that situation, we back away and think about not doing it. Take going to a friend’s birthday party. Your best friend is in a different school from you which means they have different friends, a whole number of people of whom you have never met. Every waking minute on the lead up to the party you dread going and even question whether you should go or not. The very day arrives, and you have no choice but to suck it up and pull up your big girl pants and go in. You’re in… you walk straight to your friend for support. She introduces you to 20 different people and let’s admit it you are probably thinking ‘well this is awkward’. I’ll tell you now that it is going to be awkward but somewhere deep inside, something tells you just to take the bull by it’s horns and say hi! Before you know it you are all dancing to Gangnam Style.

Every situation where you have to make friends requires you to take the first shot and once you have, half the awkwardness drifts away. The only difference with university is that no one is going to introduce you because 9 times out of 10 no one knows anyone!

I remember my very first day like it was yesterday. I got unpacked and it was time for my parents to leave, tears were shed and I was dreading making new friends. What if they didn’t like me? What if I don’t make friends and I spend the whole three years alone? They were all what ifs, none of it actually happened and 9 times out of 10 they won’t. 4 o’clock came around and it was time for my introductory lecture. I waited outside my room, as instructed by the hall rep, until she arrived to take us.

Apparently there was another girl in my halls who was coming with us… we waited for her and no sign so we walked out and there she was. Who was going to say hello first? I did. And I’m so glad I did. We agreed to sit together in the lecture theatre as she didn’t know anyone either. Walking up the stairs to our seats was daunting but together we managed it. So far so good. We sit down and what happens, the chair brakes and we both fall to the floor. The whole of our row couldn’t stop laughing, and the rest as they say, is history. My point is, even though I was terrified of meeting new people, I managed to gain 5 new amazing friends who I was able to spend my university journey with.

Having made these friends from day one made my university experience phenomenal and one I will never forget. We gave each other the courage to go out and do fun things, things some of us have never done before. All of us harbouring different talents and qualities, we were all unique to ourselves, but we all got on so well. We weren’t all the same age but surprisingly that didn’t make a blind bit of difference. Slowly throughout the years we picked up new friends along the way that just slot into our growing group. If I could do it all again, I would.

I took the bull by it’s horns and said hi. So should you!

Grace Burgin,

BSc (Hons) Animal Science

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