Uni Life

Friends will be Friends

When someone says the word ‘Party’ to me, I recoil like a vampire in sunlight (and occasionally hiss like one too, but only if I have had too much sugar that day). I, to the disappointment of many of my friends, am not a ‘party animal’. I don’t drink, I don’t like loud music or dancing and I’m not too fond of strangers getting too close. I’m a pretty boring person in that respect. Now bear with me, I’m not using this blog to moan about all the ‘youths’ and their ‘bad habits’. Some people enjoy doing all those things and if you do, I’m not going to hold it against you. People are all unique.

See? That’s the point I was trying to get to (whilst moaning at the same time. Multitasking!) One of the most exciting (and most terrifying for some) aspects of Uni life is all the different people they will meet. I’ve met a crazy amount of people whilst here in Portsmouth, and all of them are unique in their own way.  Did you know that before I came to University, I had never been friends with a person who wasn’t British? In fact, I don’t think I had a conversation with someone from a far and distant land (aka beyond the British Channel) which lasted more than a few sentences. Within my first week of coming to Portsmouth I found myself having dinner (rather uncomfortably) with someone from Romania. At that point, I don’t think I could have found Romania on a map (geography isn’t one of my strong points) and suddenly she was sat next to me. I coped in my normal usual way, I made as little conversation as possible, and nervously chewed on my pizza whilst she made conversation with other people on my table but I’ll never forget that experience.  Nowadays, she lives with me in the same house and steals pizza off my plate, so you could say I got used to being around her.

I guess what I’m trying to say, in a long and rambley sort of way is that you, potential university student (or whoever is reading this), are going to meet a lot of new people. Not only at Uni but throughout your life. Even if you don’t want to and try to hide in your room all day. I’ve been there. You run out of food eventually.  You might find it hard at first, I went through my first semester thinking I wouldn’t make any friends and you might meet people you don’t like, but don’t feel disheartened. Just think of me, socially awkward guy on gaming course. I now have friends who accept my grumpy ‘stay inside and read a book’ nature. They are from lots of different countries, some like to party, some are quiet, some are tall, some are short but they all accept me for me and they make Uni all the better because of it. Also one of them is Maria who does the blog next door, so go check it out! (it’s almost as good as mine!). University is about learning and growing as a person and not just about ‘doing the work and getting a job’ despite what some people say.  My experiences with my friends have given me some stories which I can tell and laugh about for the rest of my life. Also, as a bonus, I can now tell you where Romania is on a map!


13 thoughts on “Friends will be Friends

  1. Radioactive Wonder Woman says:

    Yay! This instalment was well worth the wait! Maria is like a Romanian bird of prey! I’m glad things worked out this way between you two; I got two great housemates out of this deal!

    • richard says:

      Aww you are too kind! You are an awesome housemate! Loving the name by the way. Also I’m definitely going to start calling Maria “the Mareagle” now.

      • Radioactive Wonder Woman says:

        Haha … The Mareagle!! Definitely gonna call her that next time she’s squawking on Skype!!!!!

  2. Um… I think you meant to say that your blog is almost as good as mine!
    Who would have thought that you’d be friends with not one, but three wonderfully amazing foreigners!
    I remember how you would never come over with Maria… I’m glad Uni changed you like this. You would have missed out on so much otherwise! 😛 Who would watch Slenderman entries with you? 😛

    • richard says:

      I know what I said 😉
      I am super lucky!…. or unlucky I haven’t decided yet 😛
      We need to finish watching those entries! I need closure!

  3. Pingback: Blake’s View: It’s Not What You Know | Blake's blog

  4. Daniel Hilsden says:

    I like your frank, honest and open writing style, Rich.

    Many people who go to uni are already quite extroverted and find it hard to contemplate when somebody wants to stay in; opposed to going out or just someone who’s naturally introverted – not many people know how to deal with this.

    Seems like you’ve fallen on your feet though – people who hang out with you regardless of your going out or not will remain constant within your future life.

    Really enjoyable and resonating post to read – can I bug you to answer some questions at some point Rich? I’m collecting some data on student finances and would really appreciate your help!

    Keep on blogging!


    • richard says:

      Thanks for the feedback Dan!

      You can bug me with questions if you wish! If there is one thing we students like, it’s finances!


  5. Daniel Hilsden says:

    Cool thanks a lot Rich – no rush in getting these back to me!

    I’ll pop them in below here:

    – What do you like most about student life, would you recommend it to aspiring students and what did/do you find the most difficult about adjusting to university life?

    – Did you come to university with a financial plan or are you just winging it?

    – What do you spend most of your money on?

    – What do you feel being at university has taught you about your finances?

    Thanks again Rich – I look forward to reading from you 🙂

    • richard says:

      Luckily for you, you caught me on a day where I have nothing to do! Sorry if I go on a bit!

      – What do you like most about student life, would you recommend it to aspiring students and what did/do you find the most difficult about adjusting to university life?

      The thing I like most about student life is the freedom. It allows you to try and make it on your own as an adult but still provides a safety net to fall back on should you make a mistake (which most people do, I know I have). I would definitely recommend it to aspiring students. I have grown up so much over the past few years and it is all thanks to my life at university and what I have experienced here.
      The most difficult thing for me at University has been all the other people! I’ve always had confidence issues and coming to Uni definitely felt like being thrown in the deep end. I didn’t want to talk to anyone and I didn’t want to meet new people. But, as I found out, sometimes you need to be thrown in the deep end to learn how to swim, or in more extreme cases, start to drown and have other people pull you to safety! I stumbled across all my friends by accident and now am a lot more comfortable around people.

      – Did you come to university with a financial plan or are you just winging it?

      Initially I came to Uni with a plan, my sister helped me set one up after her experience with money at UNi. It was a simple spreadsheet which covered how much I could spend each week, how much should be saved for food, how much for bills etc. But after a few weeks in first year I found I never followed it and basically winged it, but always within reason, keeping a close eye on my bank balance at all times. It definitely gave me a good starting point to work from.

      – What do you spend most of your money on?

      This year it has probably been food. I love food. I survived all of first and second year on basically pasta alone and spent the rest of my money on games (“I’m on a Games course! It is for research”), not expensive games but a LOT of cheap games which basically ended up costing me the same as the expensive games and I definitely lost control of my money for a little while. The year though, I didn’t really have time for games whilst working on my dissertation, so I branched out from just eating pasta and tried to mix it up a bit with different meals. I never got the hang of buying in bulk and find myself shopping nearly every other day for that evening’s meal, so a lot of my money has been drained that way!

      – What do you feel being at university has taught you about your finances?

      Before University I had no financial sense at all. I had a job once, weekend thing, just to give me some income and I would still spend the money as fast as I got it. Now I have a lot more control over what I buy, Uni has taught me a lot. I still occasionally spend a bit crazy, but always have in mind the rent and the bills that need to be paid. It’s a more controlled crazy. If I had continued to spend like I did before Uni, I wouldn’t have been able to survive first year, never mind two more. Being out here on my own with responsibilities has definitely taught me a lot about finance and about myself as a person as well!

      Is that alright? Did I miss anything?

  6. Daniel Hilsden says:

    Thanks a lot Rich – that’s way better than alright and very thorough too!

    I really appreciate you taking the time to answer these – massive, massive thanks! I’ll give you a heads up when I publish it 🙂



  7. Hi Rich!

    Sorry I haven’t been able speak with you for a while now – work has been keeping me very busy 😦

    I’ve finally got around to publishing the article – just dropping by to express my thanks for your answers and help in shedding some light on student living!

    The full article is now live with the title ‘Student Finance Help – Four Interviews on Loans, Living and Laundry’ – should be on Google in a few days ^_^

    I’d be grateful if you could reference the article in blog post at some point 🙂 If you get any responses as a result of the piece – I’d be happy to answer any questions that you get – just let me know!



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