Welcome to Reggie Responds, Roar’s advice column! Our columnists are here to provide you helpful, or maybe not so helpful, advice. Tune in on Fridays to see what they have to say about your problems. 

Q: Russell group said they’d review the no detriment last week, but have yet to release any information.

Matthew: The most important thing is to work with what you’ve got. No matter how frustrating the situation is – and I agree with you, it is frustrating – you can only do your best with the hand you’ve been dealt.

Whilst it is important for a university to recognise this year’s mitigating circumstances, it’s also necessary for you to understand that we are all in the same boat. If you feel as though the system is unfair towards you, I guarantee hundreds of other students feel the exact same way. You’re not alone in that sense, you’re also not at a greater disadvantage than any of your peers.

That’s not to invalidate your frustration at all. Speak about it with your friends, let out what is irritating you, clear your head, and then work! Do the best you can possibly do in the climate we are in, and evaluate your options after. I’m sure there will be measures introduced to ensure our grades are safe, and our situation is respected accordingly. 

Q: I haven’t been able to make friends since the start of the year which makes me feel so demotivated.

Nikita: Being a first-year student (or really, an extremely social person) this year has, no doubt, been a hellish task. Finding a good group of friends during ‘normal’ years isn’t a walk in the park either, but I do understand your frustration at the seemingly impossible nature of making friends right now. Most people are burnt out from online classes and might not want to be around a laptop screen (or social media) for longer than they absolutely have to – I know I definitely don’t.

This does make making friends through social media a bit more unlikely, but – and I do emphasise this – not completely impossible! Irrespective of whether you’re back home or at uni accommodation, remember that you always have your school friends to turn to. Assuming they’re in the same boat as you, I’m sure they would appreciate the fact that they’re not alone in their struggles. As for uni friends, a TEAMS class isn’t the most convenient place to make friends. Does it reduce any possibly of awkward interactions you might have? Sure. Does it also cut down your chances of striking up a good conversation with your neighbour? Absolutely.

So, I do empathise with you on this matter – but classes aren’t the only way! I’m sure that a number of societies would welcome new members, even halfway into the year. Go ahead and DM them, I’m certain you’ll get a few positive responses, and even if you don’t, you can always attend society events and online socials!

Making new friends is great, but if you’re ever feeling lonely, don’t forget that your old friends will always have your back. So, keep in touch with your old friends and keep alive the hope that maybe, someday, you might actually make a friend in a breakout room – they can’t always be useless, right?

If you want to submit a question, you can do so here.

Matthew Seaman

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