‘University friendship: where do you find your best friends?’
One of many exciting things about starting university is meeting new people. Even if you are an introverted (the anti-social social-club kind of person), do not worry! There are plenty of freshers out there, who are exactly like you. Nonetheless, meeting new people can be equally overwhelming, for both introverts and extroverts alike, because there are just so many of them when you start university.
I remember meeting nearly a hundred, or even more, people on the first day of my freshers’ week. The problem with these sort of meetings is you hardly even remember their name (even if you remember what course they study!). Apart from your halls, where you have freshers’ week, you also meet people from your department or the societies you join. But there is a difference between friends you occasionally talk to and best friends who stick together throughout your university. I found the latter in my halls of residence.
Why do the student halls bring together best friends?
The reasons why most of one’s best friends are likely from your halls are varied. The first and most obvious: you might be talking more with them (and even more if one of them is your roommate). If you are worried about how your roommate might turn out, do not form stereotypes- just take time to understand their interests and hobbies better. The best thing about being best friends with your roommate at the halls is that you feel comfortable scheduling your sleep or waking up schedule. Or, maybe you can also be treated with a hot soup when you are ill or not feeling well. The other reason why people at your halls end up as your best friends is probably sharing dinner with people. Aside from your roommate or your next door neighbour, you will get a chance to meet other interesting people, from diverse cultures and countries, at the dining hall. For me these dinners were where I spent more time getting to know other people better and eventually become best friends. Even if you live in an uncatered hall, there are likely to be people at the kitchen with whom you can strike up a conversation and might end up talking till midnight (or maybe even going out if you guys are feeling the freshers’ week buzz).
Given that you spend most of your time at campus, with your department or at a society or library, it is surprising that you get on well with your hallmates. The reason is probably because the hall is more relaxing and provides a more home like feel. In contrast, time at university is more likely to be more academic and friendships are likely to be similar in nature. Nevertheless, if you are lucky, you can find a friend from your department staying at your hall because these friends are likely to assist with you on matters related to the degree and also about general living. These might well be one of your best friends (quite undoubtedly).
That is not the entire story!
Even though I have shared my experience about why people from your halls are likely to be your best friends, it really varies from person to person. I have known friends who met at the society or at a club, and ended up becoming best friends later. Different things work for different people! Some people might well become best friends with their academic mentor if their academic interests align. Some people might become best friends with a friend from a different year because both of them love watching a particular TV series, or maybe both are a great fan of FIFA. So, there is not a single place where you might find your best friends. The answer to where you might find your best friends quite clearly depends upon individuals (for me though the halls worked the best).
Finally, even though it might be overwhelming to start university and meet a range of different people at different places, you are certain to find someone who shares your interests. While I found people who shared my interests in my student accommodation, it might be different for different people. There are several platforms like societies and departments where you might eventually find your best friends. Whatever the case, university friendships are some of the very best friendships because you have more freedom than before, (and you are definitely going to be partying more with these people!).