This promises to be an exciting year for us all. Attending university, exploring a new city, meeting
new people – what’s not to love? More so than that, for many of us, there exists the chance to
explore other cities, especially those with school or college friends in other cities. It’s scary to be
without them; yet it’s exciting to tell them all about your new city, and hear about theirs. A student
railcard and a lecture free day gave me the chance to meet up with an old friend, and also an
opportunity to reflect on the huge change that has occurred in all our lives.
Most of us will be making plans to meet old friends; either bringing them to your new city or
exploring theirs. It can be exciting; however it can also be daunting. I met my friend in Edinburgh
rather than Stirling. The moment I met her, all semblance of distance was gone – we reverted back
to the ridiculous schoolgirls we once were, rather than the respectable students we ought to be. We
explored the city, attempting to find somewhere to buy cheap popcorn, failed, got lost a lot, and
eventually had to fork out in the cinema. We giggled our way through action flick Premium Rush,
much to the disgruntlement of the rest of the audience. It shows that things don’t have to change;
you can continue to have a good friendship with people despite any distance. Social media, as well
as Skype and FaceTime, have given us the best possible chance to maintain friendships – make
the most of it! Don’t pine for old friends, but remember that it’s good to have some grounding,
especially during such a tumultuous time in your life. If a friend lives far away, make a trip of it; invite
others and split costs. This is your chance to explore, and to abuse your student discount in the best
Sadly, not every experience will be like that. You may, sadly, experience those that use their new life
to intimidate you. Personally, I’ve experienced standing at the side awkwardly as an old friend chats
to his new friends, without so much as an introduction. There’s not much to do, other than to dust
yourself off and get on with it. As with all experiences, there are both good and bad sides to it; don’t
focus too much on the negative, and don’t let yourself be swept away by the positive. Keep a clear
head, make new friends, keep ones that are worth preserving, and enjoy being a student, in (for
most of you) a brand new city, with a brand new experience ahead of you.
Ultimately, there’s not much you can do to control the way your friendships are going to change. For
some, things will be exciting, and you will feel involved in their new life, as they will be with yours.
For others, things will change, they might no longer wish to have you in their life, and will only be
interested in bragging. It might be quite sad to see the change in people, but I wouldn’t lose much
sleep over it. Organise a night out with new friends, or spend a day with an old friend, to take your
mind off it. This is your chance to explore, not just cities and courses, but yourself. Make sure you
don’t miss it!