The relationships you make on campus, in many ways, define your university experience. Your time at university can have its difficult moments, but there are so many positive stories of friendship and kindness on the Warwick campus. If you’re an incoming fresher who is concerned about making friends, please don’t worry. Hopefully our little anecdotes will prove that you really do find your closest friends in the most unexpected ways. You never know – the person you bump into on your first day might just be the person you end up living with in your second and third years.
First days, flatmates and freshers’ nerves
There’s nothing like the first few weeks of Freshers to bond a group of people. It’s almost like a social experiment – you’re grouped together with people who you’ve never met, from all over the world, and you just have to hope that you’ll get along. The first day, in particular, is daunting. You often realise straight away who your best friends are going to be. And if you don’t get along with your flatmates, societies are a fantastic way to meet people. You might also become good friends with your course mates, too, so try to chat to as many people as possible in lectures and seminars. Make the most of Freshers. It goes so incredibly quickly.
I met one of my best friends at university in the corridor on the first day. We’ve cooked together every night, she’s forced me to be more adventurous, she’s fed me chocolate and biscuits when I have been a little stressed, and she’s looked after me when I have had no idea what I’m doing.
Rather than sitting in the kitchen, my flatmates and I decided to sit on the floor in the middle of the corridor on our first day. None of us questioned it. We sat against the wall and chatted to each other for a couple of hours, all terrified and desperately trying to remember each other’s names. It’s a day I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
Relationships, heartbreak and being single
Awkward dates, bumping into flings and watching more and more of your friends get into relationships are all parts of the university experience. It’s an exciting and surprising time and there is no right way to do it. Many people fall in love for the first time, some struggle through their first real heartbreaks. But university is also a fantastic place to be single – you’re always meeting new people, and you’re almost always busy. You’ll notice couples popping up on campus soon enough, and whilst it can be painful to see your friends in relationships if you’re single, try to stay positive. As cheesy as it sounds, your perfect match might be just around the corner! (Or a Tinder swipe away?)
My boyfriend changed my university experience irrevocably for the better. Thank you for cheering me up when I’m sad, watching Peaky Blinders with me when no-one else will, making me laugh and tagging me in the best memes. Thank you for making me so happy and giving me some of the best memories.
Nights out, mornings in, and late-night feasts
Nights out are often thought to be a big part of the university experience. You don’t have to be a party animal just to fit in at university, and that’s important to stress. There are plenty of people who don’t drink, and plenty who prefer a night in. Student nights out can be messy, that’s for sure, but they’re also a fantastic bonding experience. And once you’ve looked after a friend after they’ve drank just a tad too much, they’ll be forever in your debt. And don’t you let them forget it.
I’ve seen friends of mine volunteer to help strangers who are unwell. I’ve had countless chats with girls in the club toilets, who almost never fail to compliment you or check you’re ok, even when they’ve had too much to drink themselves. And I’ve received frantic texts from my friends when we’ve lost each other and they want to check I’ve got home ok.
Nights out with my girls have been some of the best memories. I am so thankful to my best friend for always being up for a night out, for drinking vodka with me when we’ve had a rough day, for the pizza slices that haven’t been eaten and for the advice when I’ve needed it. We’ve cried with laughter (and in the Copper Rooms bathroom over absolutely nothing after a few too many Jaeger bombs.)
One thing I’ve learnt at university is that toast is a fantastic cure for your friends who’ve had a little too much to drink. I can’t tell you how many times sliced bread and a toaster have come in handy over the last couple of years.
Food, coffee and endless support
Beyond nights out, there are so many other ways to spend time with your friends on campus. Trips to get food, coffee dates and late-night card games are all fantastic ways to get to know your friends at Warwick.
Coffees, gossip sessions over lunch, cocktail nights and emotional phone calls have been an essential part of my first year. I can’t wait for more next year.
Some of my favourite memories at Warwick have been our nights playing cards for hours on end. We’ve made our own silly rules to some of the games, and we’ve acted like children whilst playing charades.
Embracing your differences
You might find that some people are very different from you at university. That can be difficult. But it’s also an opportunity – the world is such a diverse place, and it’s important that we are sensitive and understanding of others’ views. Be open to a debate or two, and be sensitive to other people’s backgrounds. You never know what someone else could teach you.
I love the diversity of opinion at Warwick, love having political arguments with my friends, and their ability to see the other side of the debate and let me understand their views. I’m always thankful for my friends who give me brutally honest advice, and who encourage me not to take myself too seriously. And I am so grateful to my friends who have inspired me to be more confident in myself.
Take heart from some of our stories, and be open to all the new experiences that university has to offer. It’s a wonderfully exciting time, and you never know – you might just find your friends for life.