The importance of friends at university.

Companionship between people has various starting dates. Whether it’s ancestral, biblical, scientific or historical – the fact that humans have congregated between each other for various reasons, is obvious.

Our companions are usually limited to certain people.

  • Family
  • Close friends
  • Acquaintances
  • Romantic partner
  • Work colleagues

…and that’s the main ones. However, as time goes on, we find ourselves in new situations where we meet new people, with lots of personal variables about themselves. It’s in these moments that we decide – do I try and make friends?

At university, I have been lucky to form great friendships with people, an example in my life is one of my friends Julia wrote a Faces of UOW article about me very early in my degree, and we are still great friends. She even took the photo of me above.

Also along the way, I have even found friendships that didn’t work out. There are so many reasons that friendships can not work out, however at university being a unique environment to be making friends, it changes the connection spectrum. Distance, time and beyond uni interaction.

Thomas Frank discussed in an episode of ‘College Info Geek’ about how to live a less lonely life, and in that episode was analysis of general statistics of the relationships people have over their life. social-graph-650x408.jpeg

It appears blunt and very much has been the ‘norm’, however, are university relationships going to become less like this?

Matt D’Avella discusses in his video ‘The Loneliness Epidemic’ the fact that this coming generation is very social online, however feeling more lonely, anxious and depressed, and struggling to connect with people on a meaningful level.

Both of these pieces of information had me think about three things.

  1. Am I happy with the connections I have with people at university?
  2. What am I doing about them that is proactive to both them, and myself?
  3. If I wasn’t feeling okay, would I feel comfortable to reach out to my university friends?

I know for a fact my mum constantly talks about how university was the best years of her life, parties, social activities and how she had so many friends. Why do I feel like I’m not exactly having the same experiences, despite the social advancements this generation has? Online interaction cuts distance, space – and especially during the current COVID-19 climate, has us only being able to connect that way?

I am going to do some further research into the friendships people have made before, and during this current session by conducting online surveys on Twitter, using qualitative answers to questions I’ll be posting, and potential one-on-one interviews with fellow students in the same degree as myself.

Follow me at @IsaacPercy5 for future updates on this research project.


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