Going to university is all about trying something new, you go to a new place, meet new people… there’s no better opportunity to reinvent yourself, make some resolutions you might actually keep.
Societies at uni are all about the effort you put in. If you don’t take part, no one is going to come after you, in fact no one will even care. You join a mailing list, you turn up to events that interest you and hopefully along the way you’ll meet some nice people you’ll come to call friends, and if not maybe at least you had a good time.
One of the major selling points of Imperial is that its specialises in science and engineering. In terms of environment, there’s nowhere you can go where you can be more surrounded by maths geniuses, mad inventors and generally very scientifically minded people. Personally, I’m more of a fan of the interesting personalities and generally more philosophically stimulating conversations that comes with people that study arts, but you win some, you lose some. I’ve never been one of those people firmly rooted in a love for maths and science. I loved writing essays (weird, I know), something about making an argument, and thinking about things in that totally non-sensical, non-linear liberal artsy way was compelling and freeing from the straight logic of science.
Sometimes the excitement of a new environment, new people and generally a new life can be overpowering. Its easy to be carried away in the wave of new experiences, so when an inevitable crash comes its completely unexpected and hits you much harder than normal. Speaking to my hall mates, I think the most problem we’ve all been facing is loneliness. Its not as though we aren’t surrounded by friendly people, but when compared to the tight-knit friendships we all have back home or back in high school, the transcient nature of friendships at university is a whole new dynamic takes time to get used to.
When people started coming back after the Christmas break there was an inevitable rush of social behaviour as everyone caught up with each others holiday exploits and just like the first day of school after the holidays, everyone’s just happy to see their friends. A group of us decided to go take advantage of the 2 for £10 deal at Gourmet Burger Kitchen and after hanging out in an almost empty hall with the same 3 people for 3 weeks, it was the best night out I’d had in a while. Not to mention, the food was very satisfying after months of own pathetic cooking and ‘healthy eating’.
In the age of social media, being connected is incredibly easy. Not only that, for our generation, its as instinctual as breathing. Conversations between people blend seamlessly from online chat to real life, you can check if your friends are “attending” an event you’re considering, and keep up with their day to day activities by scrolling your newsfeed. In a way, this makes us ‘better’ friends than ever because we’re so in touch with each others lives.
But this intimacy reaches a whole new level, when you realise the person you’re messaging lives two doors down, you saw them just twenty minutes ago and you don’t need Facebook to know they had a 3 hour lecture this morning, ate pasta for lunch and are currently struggling with their maths coursework.