What it means to me: my friends back home
My schedule back home is lovely: wake up, revision, see friends, sleep. It’s a lot more preferable to my uni schedule – wake up, lectures with friends, get stressed out, eat too much, cry at eating too much, try to revise but procrastinate for hours because of fatigue, cry because of that, volunteer, get stressed out more, sleep (crying amount varies day by day).
“Why can’t it always be like home”, I think to myself, while stuffing my gob with chocolate and texting friends that I haven’t seen in months like an excited puppy. Then it hit me while arranging my 9th meet-up of the holiday, that seeing my friends from before the whirlwind of uni began really make going home special for me.
While some friends in Birmingham have only witnessed my true craziness for a year or under, others have stayed through thick and thin for at least half of my life. However, seeing them always warms my heart, as all of them (in some way or another) have been there through a substantial part of my life, or helped me make decisions to influence my future (and in turn I have reciprocated the favour). As a result, I have a lot of proud mother moments when my friends have got into higher education or gotten the job that they’ve wanted, or even managed to wake up at a reasonable time of day!
Nonetheless, a lot of you are probably thinking, “well don’t you treat your university friends the same way over long periods of time (i.e. the summer break)”? And, well, the answer is definitely not. As far as I am aware, most people make amazing friends at university, including myself. But if you consider your friends at uni to be more important than back home, then I will have to shake my head at you disappointingly. Here’s some reasons why:
- Much like my previous point, your friends back home have gone through a lot more decision-making and development of self with you, as opposed to your university pals. I guess you could argue that thanks to your uni friends you’ve decided on where to go on a night out, or what phrase to use in an essay. But, questions such as “Where do you think I will be in 10 years” or ” could you imagine us when we’re old and grey” are, in my opinion, the ones that are best discussed by those that have known you longer and, in theory, better.
- If you’re still meeting up and having a good time together, it’s a probability that your friendship has stood a test of time. As an example, my best friend and I are celebrating our 5 year friendship anniversary in July after being there for each other through the good, the bad and the ugly. Even though our paths have changed (i.e. not seeing them five days a week in school), that doesn’t stop us from visiting and enjoying our company together – something that isn’t certain with uni friends (as of yet)!
- The last point (though I’ve reiterated it many times) is that they’ve always been there. Maybe not for too long, but way before becoming a student 200 miles away from home. You’ve probably laughed, cried and felt many emotions with them present to be laughing with you or picking up the pieces when something has gone awfully wrong – well, at least more so than with those you haven’t known as long, or even don’t trust fully to let your true colours show.
Call me biased, because I am. Without my friends back home, I definitely would not be the person I am – in fact, a lot of my friends still remember the shy, reserved shell I was before finding them. Through trust, loyalty and confidence, I found who I really was as a person, and for that I couldn’t be more thankful to them.
As I mentioned though, this is just what it means to ME – I know other people who didn’t find themselves until university through their lovely flatmates and societies they joined. Everyone’s account is different, but mine is solid as rock. I know that it’s gonna be hard for me to not see any of my friends next year due to study abroad, as they all keep me so grounded, but I know they’ll always be there for me regardless of how our paths diviate.