I joke a lot about the ratio here at Imperial. However, this week I caught up with a friend from Imperial who has given me permission to discuss her story in this blog. We will call this girl Amy for the purpose of the article.
Amy told me about how hard she was finding it adjusting to University life. I agreed with her that it had been quite an adjustment for me too and we chatted about what she was finding quite difficult in particular. She was getting quite down due to all the work and little free time she had. But, in particular, she missed having a central girl group that she could rely on for anything. In a hall full of boys she has struggled to find a good group of female friends who she can just hang around and do girly things with. Through all her friendship, work and boy stresses she has become quite down.
Having spoken to many of my other friends at Imperial after talking to Amy it was clear that she is not alone in her feelings. So what can be done- whether you are in this situation or are going to be coming to Imperial or another boy’s school University?
1) Spend a few weeks aiming to be socialising more with girls. Consciously make an effort to form friendships with girls (even if that does sound like a strange thing to do). Making more girl friends will never hurt…guys will always be around! You should be the one to organise some fun girly nights and get to know each other more.
2) Join girl clubs! I have found some of my closest friends at Imperial from joining netball. Even if you are rusty at the sport or have never played it’s just great to get involved and be a part of a girl “group”.
3) Pamper yourself. Take time out to rest and recuperate when you are stressed. It is okay to spend 20 minutes for yourself in between revision just to wind down and de-stress. Have a long, hot shower, go for a walk or get dolled up- just have some “me” time and make yourself feel good.
4) Boys. I think we can all agree that there is a slim chance you will meet Mr Right at Metric. Quite a lot of girls I have spoken to have never kissed a boy and have now been thrown into Lad City. Don’t rush if you don’t feel ready and make sure you are comfortable with everything. You are a prize to be won by boys (I laughed typing that but it is true!). If you are confident in yourself and you love you then the right boy will come around.
5) Remember there are thousands of people at Imperial. You can go and make friends with any one of them (well most…). If friendships aren’t particularly working just join another society or head down to Metric to make some new buddies and have a mingle.
6) Talk to someone. Talking not only allows you to offload, it can also bring you closer to friends when you share bits of you that you had previously closed off.
7) Drama. Amy was going through a lot of drama in her life and it’s so easy to get caught up in it all and lose focus on what is really important. If you find yourself getting stressed out with boys or friendship issues just try and take it with a pinch of salt, brush it off and don’t regret. It is so hard to enjoy yourself at University when you are constantly being critical of everything you have done and start fretting over it. Try to just move on and forgive!
8) Indulge yourself in hobbies and interests- Bake some brownies or watch your favourite Harry Potter movie every so often. Get your friends involved and let everyone relax together!
9) Take notice if someone else is having a rough time. Freshers should be on the lookout for freshers that need a hand. We are all in the same boat and you will never know how much your listening skills would mean to someone having a bad day!
10) Organise your work. Seriously though, if you are finding the work load hard it’s time to prioritise and organise your notes a bit. This is especially true during this Christmas break. Millions of people have degrees and it isn’t impossible to get one if you put the work in and enjoy it. You were all clever enough and hard-working enough to get into Imperial…now it is time to prove yourself.
So just remember: You are a strong, independent woman. You can handle anything life throws at you. If you can’t… I have a great chocolate collection in my room for us all 🙂 xx
P.S. I cringed too re-reading this…maybe I should start my own Teen Self Help Magazine…