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Reggie Responds #23

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

Q: How do I make closer friends at uni? I’ve tried some societies but it feels like everyone already has their friend groups and I end up just knowing the people I meet there rather than being good friends with any of them.

Jess: First things first, you definitely aren’t alone with this one – making good friends at uni can be hard to begin with. It’s almost as bad as dating: “Do they like me? Do they think I’m funny? Am I coming on too strong?It can be a situation ripe for imposter syndrome. You’ve got to remember though, everyone’s in the same boat. On the surface it might seem that everyone is getting along swimmingly but I can guarantee that they’re probably feeling a similar way. I think the most important thing, and I know this is much easier said than done, is to put yourself out there. No one likes doing this, and it’s a terrifying prospect, but it sounds like you’re halfway there – joining societies is a great step in making friends. If you’re feeling like you need to solidify these friendships, ask people to do something outside of these society meetings, whether its a uni event, a new exhibition, or even just a coffee. It’ll give you the chance to get to know someone, or a small group of people, in a more personal environment. The worst that will happen is they say they’re busy, or you don’t click, in which case you’ll know that you’re better off as people who nod hello in the library and leave it at that. Much more likely, you’ll end up with some great mates and a confidence boost.

Q: I feel like I’m getting too caught up in uni work (there’s so much of it) and don’t have time to hang out with my friends. They mean well but do hang out a lot without me and I’m having some FOMO and I don’t know what to do about all this…

Caroline: Uni work can be overwhelming at times. Trust me, you are not alone. That being said, worry not, as there are many ways to restore the balance between studying and hanging out with friends. Firstly, you can incorporate your friends into your studying. Pick out a nice coffee shop, whether that be the local cafe near your flat, or something closer to uni, like a Starbucks or a SOHO coffee, and get to work. Study groups are not only beneficial in terms of socialising but they are also extremely advantageous for actual revision. You can motivate and help each other out and push one another to be the best students you can be. If you find coffee shops too distracting, the library also works well in this context. Pick a good study spot, whichever works for you and every hour or so you can take small breaks to chat with your friends, grab a snack or a coffee with them.
For better or for worse, academics need to be pretty high on your priorities list. Still, it may be the case that not all of your friends agree with this. It is important that you feel comfortable enough to share your feelings with the people close to you. If you are feeling a little left out, say it. Talk it through and try to find solutions which work for everyone. If they really are your friends, they are going to care for you and your feelings. Remember, your studies are important, no doubt about that, but you need to make sure you give yourself the opportunity to relax and have fun.
If you want to submit a question, you can do so here.

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