I’m sure by now, you’ve heard the spiel. “College is the best days of your life!”; “Maynooth is going to feel like a second home for you now!”; “You’re going to make so many new friends when you get there!”; and so on. You may even be annoyed slightly by all this, as it’s all about your own experience and no one knows how you, personally, will react to a university environment yet. It is college season all around the world right now, I know that in various places, colleges have started back into lectures already and I often see people fretting about the idea of making friends in college on various social media websites.

There is so much pressure on this generation to make long lasting friendships when you’re in college because, supposedly, there isn’t as much pressure on us as there was on our parents and college has become ‘more accessible’, meaning that there are more people attending and so there is more of a chance you’ll make friends with someone. I am not a professional in any area so if you are someone who’s wondering how to make friends while you’re in Maynooth, I recommend you don’t listen to me! Seriously though, I personally have been  ‘hashtag, blessed’ with friendships with an array of different people in our college so I’ll try bestow some advice on you now.

  1. Clubs and societies helped me a lot when the prospect of making new friends was looming above me and I was filled with self doubt. The great thing about this is that you know that each person is a member because they are interested in whatever the group is about. It’s a fast track way to know that you can at least talk to fellow members about the one thing that joins you all together.
  2. The SU is the focus of a few pints, cheap hot food and many scandalous nights – in the best way possible. If you’re into the sort of scene where you’ll meet casual drinkers, the SU is the way to go in my opinion. If you’re looking for something more hard-core though, pootle down to The Roost on a Monday after a drink or two in the SU. Thursday’s is also a great time to go into Dublin for similar reasons. If there’s one thing that we’re never going to run out of here, it’s definitely hyped up nights out. Long live the sesh.
  3. If your course has a compulsory tutorial component, you’ll more than likely become casual friends with a few people within that class. Tutorials are much smaller and more focused and you’re invited to share your thoughts as much as you can, which is good because that stimulates conversation.
  4. Group chats should be seen as a bonus too. With the way the world is going, technology will be able to simulate real human bonds all through the Internet! Ok, so that last statement may be a lie but I have found that group chats on Messenger or WhatsApp have given me the opportunity to get closer to some people because it’s easier to organise meet-ups then. You could make a region-based focused group chat or a chat consisting of people who live within the same building as you. Really, it’s just about what suits you and who you want to be closer with.
  5. Lastly, you could always aspire to be the new Sesh Monarch, i.e. the person who throws the best sessions with plenty of laughs and cringe. Please though, I do not want to hear about anyone breaking the rules of their accommodation so only do it if you stick to the rules set out for you. Then, invite me because I’m great craic.

There you have it. My guide for making friends, do with it what you will. In all seriousness though, you can never really guess where friendship will be found. You can never really assume when or where you’ll make friends but I advise you to appreciate the experiences and learn to appreciate yourself too. I’ve never felt more comfortable within myself than when I was in ‘Nooth, and that’s something truly unique. This little community quickly became my favourite home and I hope it does for you too.