Written by Abigail
BSc (Hons) Psychology
Thinking back to last September when I was getting ready to come to BU, I felt so nervous. Not just because of the move but because I would be leaving both my family and friends and home and starting an adventure of my very own.
They’re here for us when we need them and can sometimes be hard to come by. The friendships you’ve built up throughout the years are important and you may have the underlining thought that moving away, or having less time due to university may jeopardise the friendships you’ve worked so hard to gain.
From the perspective of a student currently studying in university, 3 hours away from my home town, I can tell you that it really shouldn’t be a worry! If you have friends staying at home starting an apprenticeship or resitting, they will be as anxious about you leaving as you are them staying. Other friends going to other universities will be feeling the same as you. In this day and age technology has your back, you can group call, Skype, FaceTime, video chat, call, voice chat, messenger, text, snapchat, Instagram, even write a postcard, letter or carrier Pidgeon if you really want.
The 21st century is the time for communication and unlike your parents who may have studied away from home a while ago, communication methods are not issues you should be concerned about when it comes to staying in contact with friends. When it comes to friendships, if they are important, they will stick around. They shouldn’t be things that you have to force or be afraid of losing. A good friend is someone who should be supportive and understanding of your decision to move away or go to university. There is absolutely nothing to stop a good friend from messaging, setting up times for weekly group calls, or even visiting! Yes they can come visit you in your halls of residence.
A friendship is valuable but also team work. It’s a 50/50 deal and if your putting in all the work, spending time trying to call when your away and they’re not, using free time to message and they don’t or you’re the only one showing interest to visit. Top tips:
- Plan ahead. You may not have exact exam dates, end of classes or free week, but you do know roughly when you may be available and once timetables are out you know when you are free during the week (not forgetting to do revision and personal study). You can plan when you may go home for a weekend to visit or even have your friends visit you. Planning dates to look forward to or even just a planned video chat can really help you get through the week knowing you are going to have a chance to catch up with your friends.
- Make new friends but don’t forget the old. Keep yourself busy to stop yourself from overthinking about things you may feel your missing out on. Join clubs, attend societies, go on nights out and don’t just keep in your room. It is important to make new friends and settle into your surroundings, but do make sure you don’t neglect your old friend in replacement of your new.
- Give yourself time to adjust. Moving away can be hard for everyone, not just you but your friends also. Make sure you give yourself time to settle in and form a routine. A routing will be created quickly and you will find your own feet. The friends you make at university, much like some you may have back home, can become friends for life. Allow yourself to remain open to create new friendships.
If you are still concerned, or the feelings come back after you’ve moved, try talking about it. Confide in a close friend, family member or the university will always be open to helping you through any issue you come across.
Don’t forget if you’re nervous about meeting new friends, the ResLifeBU programme offered in halls is there to support you. You can find out everything you need to know about this here.