Friendships

Is there a relationship more complicated?  I’ve always struggled to be close to people for fear of being hurt, for fear of being vulnerable.  The truth is though, you reach a new level of friendship when you open up to each other, and yeah that puts you in a vulnerable position but I guess it’s the point of a good relationship and being there for each other that makes it all worth it.

I think it’s just as hard as a breakup though, when it all goes wrong.  The loss of someone you were so close to, that you trusted with everything makes you question why you put yourself out there to be that vulnerable.  Makes you remember all the reasons you don’t get close to people, so that it’s easy to pull away, to defend yourself because you’re not emotionally involved.  After all, isn’t the only person you can really count on yourself?

But when you fall out with that person, how do you move on from it? I really have no idea, I’ve never been close enough to someone to end up being in this position before, so it’s a shame it has come to that now.  It just makes you wonder whether relying on anyone else was ever a good idea, when one misunderstanding sends every insecurity, every anxiety you’ve ever had tumbling down on top of you to the point that you wonder if this is what drowning feels like.  You can’t find you’re feet, can’t find purchase in anything.  Where you once felt more comfortable than anywhere else in the world, including home, you’re now unsure you belong all over again.  It makes you question whether things are ever going to settle.  Perhaps we just can’t rely on people.

That’s the mantra I always used to have, keep everything inside and pretend it’s fine and we’ll be alright.  It became we because it was more comforting that way, as if shifting to plural pronouns would trick my brain into thinking we weren’t just that lonely.  But maybe I always had it right to start with, maybe it’s other people that are more damaging and I was just protecting myself.

Maybe.

But then again, I think probably not.  I can’t deny that as complicated and as difficult as friendships are, when it’s good, it is beyond good.  The feeling that people have your back is so special, especially at uni when you don’t always have family to fall back on.  So, I guess it is worth it with the right people, because I’d hope they value the friendship highly enough, that small things can be risen above, and big things can be talked to solution.  Because, at the end of the day we all care about each other, and I hope that’s enough.

Liv xx

First Year of University

Everyone tells you that the first year of university will be the best year of your life, and in many ways it is.  However, in some ways it is also the most difficult. 

What is so often neglected to talk about is also the sheer amount of change that happens all around you, and how sometimes it becomes overwhelming.  There are a lot of things to juggle, making friends, going out, trying to organise your timetable and find classes whilst exhausted (and most probably hungover and coming down with freshers’ flu), all while trying to make a good impression on the people you’ve been told are going to be your life-long friends. 

I don’t mean that to sound scary, because freshers is so much fun, but it’s okay to also feel overwhelmed, unsure and a little scared about it all too.  I think the expectation that first year will be the best year of your life sometimes makes it all a little harder to deal with, because you might feel like you’re doing it wrong if it’s not as perfect as you thought.  I guarantee you you’re not. 

Change isn’t supposed to be easy, it’s supposed to be unexpected and unpredictable.  There will be amazing high points, but you have to expect that there will be low points too, just like with everything, and then you can make sure you look after yourself until things inevitably get good again. 

Another thing to bear in mind is that, whilst it is true that you make some of your best friends at university, this does not necessarily mean it’s immediate.  So, don’t worry if you struggle to find your perfect friendship group in the first few weeks, or whole first semester even.  For me, my friendships changed so much and so rapidly all throughout first year, and it was only by the end of second semester that I felt I really knew who my close friends were.  Although struggling to find where you stand with friendship groups isn’t something people generally openly talk about, I think you’ll find it’s something a lot of people feel in that first year. 

That’s not to say I didn’t have such a good time, because I really truly did, there is such a wide range of diverse people to get to know, and I’ve definitely cried more tears of laughter just this year than the rest of my entire almost 20-year-old life combined.  It’s just I think too often people say their first year at uni was the best year of their life, just because that is what is expected.  Personally, I have a feeling year 2 is going to be just as epic, if not more so. 

So, if you’re off to university this autumn have an amazing time, good luck, and don’t worry if it’s harder than you thought.  That’s normal!

Just remember sometimes the expectation that something is going to be the best thing ever, makes it a little harder.