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“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” Thomas Aquinas
Adult friendships are hard.
There I said it.
You know what’s harder? Adult friendships at university.
Looking back, we had it so easy as children; you chose someone in your class, grabbed their hand and they became your friend to play tag with.
No one cared if your eyebrows were on fleek (are we still saying that?!), no one cared what generation iPhone you had, no one cared whether you had a thigh gap and definitely no one cared if you owned a pair of Huaraches.
I will let you in on a little secret.
The only one who cares about these things now is us and the odd person that we meet who does care, well maybe they aren’t worth our friendship.
Don’t get me wrong, adult friendships are still hard. Trying to coordinate timetables, not break the bank and get anywhere in Auckland city traffic can seem almost impossible. So much so that often it seems easier to not bother.
Happiness in friendship.
But let me tell you why we should bother to make and maintain friends.
When on their deathbed people are asked, what made them happy in life more often than not their answer was relationships. And you know what, take it from someone who is in their fifth year of university, you are not going to be a good student if you aren’t happy.
Making friends 101.
So how to make and maintain friends in this jungle? Here are a couple of tips
To make friends? Easy. Talk to people. Okay fair enough, that isn’t easy for everyone, especially if you are an introvert, but don’t worry everyone is as worried and anxious as you are, some of us are just better at hiding it. It doesn’t have to be complicated conversation either, no one needs to solve the problems of the Middle East; how about What is the last movie you saw? Or What is your favourite TV show?
Jumanji and Jane the Virgin.
Basically you need to find something in common and once you do? You will be fine. Just think about She’s The Man and Do you like Gouda conversation.
Side note; clubs are a great way of making friends too!
Once we have friends we need to keep them and to do that we need to make an effort to connect meaningfully.
Now that isn’t easy with busy schedules but we don’t have to see each other all the time, once a week, once a fortnight, even once a month can be great.
I only see my best friend about once a fortnight in busy times but we spend hours together when we do and she is definitely a source of happiness in my life.
What you do doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive either. A couple of my favorite things are to walk up Mount Eden, catch a movie at someone’s place or to cook a shared meal at a friend’s apartment. But honestly whatever works for you.
Making and keeping friends is hard, everyone gets anxious about it, no one is perfect at it. But you just have to try and it definitely makes university a happier place.
Tips & tricks
- Join a club or start one of your own. The university has over 200!
- Connect with acquaintances! You would be surprised what you have in common with people (classmates, colleagues, the random person sitting next to you in class) when we try!
- Find common ground; movies, music, TV shows.
- Make plans with people you love and put it in your calendar.
- Prioritise relationships as a form of self-care.
- Reconnect with old friends especially old school friends.
- Keep plans simple; a walk, tagging along for grocery shopping or a meal.
- Social media cannot replace face to face time but it is super helpful for making plans!
- Everyone is as anxious as you are around new people!
- Smile! People are drawn to good energy!
Friendship and How to Make Friends at Uni was written by the team at University Confessions. Mental health has always been a problem with the student demographic, which shouldn't be ignored. Together with University Confessions, we hope to make a positive difference.