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How will your relationships change during uni?

5th March 2013

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I have always heard that "first year is the best year of your life." In second year I am only starting to notice this. It’s not because of the freedom and little focus on work that my first year brought but the relationships that came with it. Halfway through my degree I am realising that my relationships - whether that be friends, romantic or family - are changing. I thought I’d look at each relationship specifically...

‘Ooo, Uni Friend?’

Another much appreciated bit of information I got before uni was how my friendships would change with an increase in work throughout my degree. This is what I heard:

First year: you make new friends  - in freshers almost everyone is happy to say hello and for the majority of the yeareveryone’s your friend. These friendships may or may not be real. Be aware of this.

Second year: you settle down with close friends - from first year you’ve you’ve grown your own group of friends, with a strong bond. This is likely to be the point at which foundations are set for your post-uni frienships. 

Third year: you find it hard to spend time with friends - with the build up in work you’ve got to find time to stop and just spend it with your mates. Life isn’t all work, work, work, I’ve heard. Make time for your friends and socialising and the work/stress will seem much less daunting. 

In general, good advice would be to balance out your time between friends and work as a priority. But the next section requires a much more delicate balance act.

The Balancing Act

Usually there’s a hopeful long distance couple that have been together before uni and are planning to ‘give it a go’ because they cannot bear the idea of not being together. If we are to go by this ‘three-step programme’ then there’s going to be a growing strain throughout the years. Of course it’s going to be tough balancing out your time but if it’s worth it then no advice is needed, just stay strong regardless of difficulty. 

On the other side of the romantic spectrum comes the old uni spawned love-affair, which may be different to what a lot of us have experienced pre-uni. You are likely to find a new freedom, with no need to keep your door open so your parents can keep an eye on you. Through this a strong connection can be created, with all your free time being spent away from pestering parents. However. be aware of spending all your time together and isolating yourself from your friends. 

One thing I must note is that the three steps I have stated are relevant here and balance must be kept for your degree to be worth while (that’s why you’re here, right?)

Parents & Pants

There’s always one relationship that is impossible to escape no matter your geographical distance... the parents. Out of innocent interest for what you’re doing you may feel that they are trying to muscle in on your new-found freedom and responsibility. You may become annoyed even in the many miles that separate you.

They aren't interfering. They just want to know what's going on, and after 18 years of having you in their house this is hardly surprising. Let them in. 

Through uni I’ve gained one main question: how does my mum keep my pants so comfortable? Even in my new state of self-reliance and responsibility I still struggle in understanding the full capabilities of washing and my mother (and of course the banter that stems from my dad when I need cheering up). No matter what happens in your life, and your relationships, you can always rely on the soft spoken guidance of your kin. So remember, amongst the sudden freedom and new friendships, to make time for them. 


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