Topic 2 – Relationships
I’ve personally found that the importance of having a good group of mates at uni is invaluable. Going into a new environment with a new way of life and for many of us, being away from home for the first time; it can be really difficult to feel comfortable at first, but having some good friends around you early on can make this a whole lot easier!
I think comfortable is probably the right feeling to dwell on with this topic, especially when talking about friends at uni, but also with any kind of relationship, perhaps at school or even at work. We are often told that new situations present us with the opportunity to ‘reinvent’ ourselves and become the person we always wanted to be, but I think this can often be quite a misguided thought process. Whilst I think any change in life is the perfect opportunity to try new things and broaden your horizons, this shouldn’t be confused with changing who you are! It sounds clichéd, but being yourself is so important when it comes to making good, lasting relationships. I know that the first week or so at uni was so fast paced, with new things and different experiences constantly flashing by and it would have been so easy to forget who I was and ‘fit in’ but I know that, had that been the case, I wouldn’t have the friends I have now, because whilst I wasn’t perfect and looking back would probably change a few things, I was still true to the person I am and most importantly was true to my faith. This was reflected in the things I did and most importantly the people I met, meaning that it didn’t take long to have a group of reliable friends that I was comfortable around, not people who I felt I needed to impress or change to be accepted by.
Please don’t hear this as a call to isolate yourself to one group of people. For anyone who read the last blog post you will know that here I am talking mainly of non-Christian friends, due to my lack of involvement in CU and church for the first term at uni. However, whilst I strongly advice against avoiding church and CU, that does not mean that all of your mates have to know the Bible inside out and be able to quote the Psalms! Diversity in our friendships is so important and so natural due to the fact we all have a host of different interests and hobbies. Not only this, but having a group of non-Christian friends allows me to talk to them and share elements of my faith, as well as constantly being challenged by them, forcing me to grow and mature in my convictions!
So, when approaching new situations, be yourself and don’t be afraid to mix and mingle with lots of different groups and individuals, just never make friends that your not comfortable around and you feel you can’t be yourself with and be thankful when you find genuine, reliable mates!