Rachael Milsom considers university friendships…
Now that graduation day is swiftly approaching I often find myself thinking back to when I began my three years at Loughborough University. A time when my housemates were strangers and the place I call home was just another regular house in the student triangle. Every single adult I spoke to about university would pass on the same piece of wisdom – ‘The friends you make at university will be your friends for life’. Only now do I realise they were 100%, absolutely, completely and utterly right. And here’s why…
1: They have seen you at your absolute worst.
Puking up, drunk dialling, crying hysterically and being incapable of looking after ourselves. We’ve all been there, done that, got the fatal hangover. They watch you get hopelessly trashed and do not sprint in the opposite direction. They have witnessed your questionable decisions. They have never judged. They’ve been there the next day with a glass of water, painkillers and your favourite food. You know you can depend on them no matter what. And you can rest assured that there is now pretty much nothing you can do to scare them off.
2: You’ve gotten through the exam and coursework periods together and, more importantly, have survived to tell the tale.
At a time when stress levels and emotions are at an ultimate high you still coped with each other. They’ve forgiven you for the time you screamed at them and you don’t hold a grudge for anything that may have been said in the heat of the moment. You understand that it wasn’t personal – it was the exams talking. If you still love each other after all of that, it is clear that this is a friendship strong enough to endure most hardships.
3: You live together.
You know EVERYTHING about each other. Your routines, your annoying habits, your dating history. You name it – they know about it. Boundaries that are normally upheld are probably non-existent, or at least incredibly blurred. Complete nudity, sharing a bed, over-sharing of intimate details. You feel so comfortable in each other’s presence that all of these things are perfectly acceptable. Being friends is one thing, but being housemates is friendship on a whole other level.
4: More importantly you have grown up together.
You’ve rooted for each other in every little single thing you do. You’ve made important life decisions with their support. You are able to be brutally honest with each other – no sugar-coating necessary. You know that no matter how low you are feeling, they will always be there to pick you up. You change and develop as a person at university and these are the friends that have watched that happen while loyally cheering you on.
So when somebody tells you that your university friends are friends for life, believe them. University is undeniably an emotional, amazing journey. But it’s the people you meet along the way who make the experience so special. And when it’s time to leave university you will be certain that these friends are really worth holding on to.