Stacey Produced by

2nd year

BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing (with Foundation Year)

As we start university, some of us may have had friends we either grew up with, went to elementary school with, or even met during A-levels and have a friendship bond with.

This all changes when university starts; we either join the same universities with them or, for some, part ways due to different university choices. While at university, we are forced by the environment to meet new people, get out of our comfort zones, and make new friends.

It’s only natural that humans need to seek interaction. It can range from starting as strangers and ending with long-term friendships as we all meet with a similar goal, that’s to achieve the degree, but with that comes character building, friendship making, along with a lot of other physical, emotional, and intellectual developments that happen as we transition through university right up to graduation.

Stacey and two friends sit around a wooden table smiling for a picture

I am a second-year Adult Nursing student, but my friendship experience started when I joined BU for the Foundation Year. I could have chosen to live alone or even stay with relatives who live in the same town as me, but I chose to join Cranborne House as my choice of accommodation as it is known for housing most medical students, including nurses and midwives.

I remember my first day in the accommodation. It was seven rooms for seven girls, me included, and I knew none of them. The cultural shock was to be expected as we all came from different parts of the country, different walks of life, and different upbringings, but we had one thing in common: the Health and Social Care degree we moved in to start.

We all know that completing any Health and Social Care degree can seem daunting and draining and will require a lot of personal investment to keep up with both social life and academic life and placement.

From a Health and Social Care perspective, having friends is essential as you have someone to come home and talk to about a new sub-course unit that you may not have understood and be able to get feedback from or even have help from the different interprofessional housemates that have different perspectives of the unit and different ideas that they can share on a particular subject.

Regarding placement, staying with friends who do a similar course to you is a bonus because the placement experience is not the same for everyone. We all get to see and experience different things while at work, and having someone to debrief about your day with just to let off steam in case you had a bad day or even make a toast in case of a good day is essential when you have friends compared to when you are on your own because you didn’t have someone to talk to like you would have with friends.

Making friends is good for mental stability, especially at university. Most of your time is spent alone unless you have family close by, but if the family is far away, good friends help fill the family void. With friends, you can also plan outings like brunch, beach days, trips to explore different parts of the world, or even small weekend getaways to relieve academic stress. You can go club crawling with or pub crawling thing of your choice can be done with good friends.

I got the best of both worlds, as my friends love to travel, party and study, which has been a bonus to my university experience.

While on campus, I have made lecture friends with whom I can benefit from an academic discussion and ensure that I get all my university work done. There can be ups and downs when it comes to making friends, but I would advise sticking with the good ones that, no matter what, will help academically motivate you to stick to the course and aim to achieve good grades and complete the degree.

Friends play a huge part in our university experience. Choose your friends well. You can make friends by joining club societies and attending university social events that will help connect you with different people, like freshers’ week.

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