Student Issues

“speed friending” or just plain pretending?

In many ways making friends in your first year of college is almost like a wacky speed dating session.

You know how it is walking into that frantic lecture hall with about one hundred seats to choose from. Your eyes scan the room trying to find someone who looks half-decent to plonk yourself down beside for the next hour.

After barging through hoards of backpacks and Converse shoes you eventually decide to sit beside a nice boy or girl who you think could be your ‘type’ (just friends that is!)

You ask is the seat free and you receive an award-winning smile in return, you just know that this person could be the ‘’one’’ (still just friends though!) And it’s as if you’ve known each other for years. Both of you have the same interests and in fact your aunt and her neighbour’s cousin used to live next door to each other in Dublin. It’s like it was meant to be. Fate some might say. But then the snooty lecturer begins drawling on and shoving slides up on the screen and it’s as if your speed friending session has been cut short!

Shared laughter

Of course you still smile at each other during the lecture and chuckle when the lecturer on the stage fails to grapple the machine that is YouTube, but it’s not the same, the moment has been ruined, it’s as if a stupid waiter in a restaurant spilled red wine all over you and the mood had been killed.

As if to regain the magic that was there at the start of the lecture you exchange numbers and agree to sit together tomorrow in the exact same position, at the right of the lecture hall or was it the left?

Anyway the next day you go through the same old ritual of climbing through school bags and college coats in hope of meeting the new ‘’friend’’ of yours. But alas they’re nowhere to be found and what’s worse is that you’re stuck sitting beside someone with bad breath and who you have no common interests with. They have never even heard of your hometown!


As the lecture ends you feel like you’re escaping from a disastrous date, all you can do is stuff all your notes into your school bag and dive for the doorway, but then the worst happens. You see your so-called friend from yesterday laughing and smiling with someone new. Your heart sinks to the floor. They never laughed with you like that. What’s that? They’re going to lunch together in the common room and they’re arms are linked! What was yesterday? Was it all pretending? Probably!

All you can do is pick yourself up and make your way through the teeming crowds to just go and do the same thing with another soul. Who knows maybe someday you’ll be the one heading to the common room laughing your head off having made a new mate, but link arms? I think not! The joys of making friends! It supposed to get easier at least that’s what I’m told!

Hang in there guys.