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By Sera Sekerci

Picture of Simon Pegg in How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

This blog post is going to sound like a self-help article, there is no way to avoid it. (Light humour will be sprinkled generously to nullify any boredom.) When you go away to University, it’s a new chapter in the story of your life. That chapter needs and will have characters in the form of your new friends and peers and will mostly be brilliant, cherished connections that you’ll have for a long time.

However… as you can tell by my subtle qualifier – ‘mostly’ – it is not always the case that everything will go swimmingly. Lots of really stupid, insignificant things can breakdown healthy friendships over time given the chance. The little niggles like ‘they are always using the washing machine!’ can become ‘they are so selfish!’ and eventually into ‘I don’t like them because they are selfish’. It does depend on the situation on what is the right course of action, but here are a few suggestions:

1) Try again – It’s not going to work out if you’re both not going to try, is it? Burying your head in the sand and ignoring it or getting on your high horse of superiority, are not going to get you anywhere. So if you are doing either of these things stop and think ‘I am being a muppet’ and go and sort it out. It’s not worth it most of the time, it really isn’t.

2) Avoid them – If you really don’t get along and you’ve tried to work things out but can’t, why bother being around them? Just keep your distance, if you aren’t near each other how can there be conflict? Or alternatively, if somebody has upset you or annoyed you, avoiding them gives you some time to cool down and have a good think about things. Then return to step 1.

 

3) Have a rant and a moan – Go find a confidant whether it be a friend, a lecturer of yours, a counsellor, a cat or even a stranger on the bus (the last two are probably less effective in helping you talk out your problems. Cats will cuddle you though; strangers on the bus probably won’t.). When you’ve found that confidant, just have a rant about what’s causing you to be upset and it’ll make you feel better by getting it off your chest. Then return to step 1 or 2 accordingly.


4) Confront them! Late teens/early twenties is an awkward age. Most people are desperate for acceptance and there will let some things slide that later in life they’ll look back on and think ‘Why didn’t I do something about that?’ Confrontation is something people don’t like but it’s healthy and can solve your problems quite easily. It doesn’t have to be a shouting match, full of tears or you marching on the warpath, you just need to let them know where you stand. And if you are quite easy going, (like all stereotypical students) if you show they’re getting to you, they’ll take it seriously. They crave acceptance too so they’ll probably be bringing you cups of tea and biscuits in way of apology in no time. Then return to step 1.

So it’s all pretty simple. You’ve got no excuses. Good jobs don’t look after you when you are old and sick, friends and family do. So get your priorities right and straighten everything out, otherwise you’ll end up regretting not doing it.

Sera
About Sera

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