So you’ve gotten into varsity, you’ve figured out your mode of transport or you’re finally in residence. You’re settled; but only you’re not.

Now it’s time to build relationships; time to create new friendships. I mean you’ll be in university for the next three or four years and doing it solo won’t be any fun.

I remember my first day of university. I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know anyone and it seemed like everyone had a clique, which didn’t help at all. However, when doing an entrance test for admission into CPUT I chatted to a girl and that was the very first girl that I gravitated towards on my first day – and we are still friends up to this day.

Busi’s experience was similar but also different. When she first got into university she had a hard time finding friends as well. Her first friend was a classmate she met on the train. They developed a friendship while travelling together; they are also still close friends. Busi shared that all her four closest friends are ones she met in varsity. And interestingly enough Busi and I became friends through the first friend I made when I got to CPUT. The three of us are still great friends.

I think it’s super important to put yourself out there to make new friends. I’m not saying to do anything completely out of your comfort zone, but you need to talk to different people and see whether you guys may have some things in common. I mean I was super shy, but I knew that I needed friends in order to get through the next few years.

Friends are not only your confidants, but they can also help you on your varsity journey in terms of explaining something you don’t know, giving you an idea for an assignment, or even saying, “Good job. You did well.”

There have been many times when I was absent and I wouldn’t particularly panic because I knew I had friends who I could get the notes from, someone who I could ask for an explanation from.
Your classmates know exactly what you’re going through, they encounter and experience the same things you do: deadlines, stress, depression and a heavy work load. The only difference between your classmates and classmates who are friends is that you can go to your friends and you can talk to them and share your issues in a safe space without fear of judgement.

Creating friendships in the beginning may seem a bit daunting, but take a leap of faith – you’ll be just fine. And as American journalist, Maria Shriver, once said, “When the world is so complicated, the simple gift of friendship is within all of our hands.”


Read more here on the latest Student Life article of The undocumented matriculant.

Tell us: What is your experience with creating friendships in high school or university and do you have any tips?