Happy Sunday and welcome to the first instalment of The Sunday Series. I was apprehensive to start this series, but the response has been more than expected. So thank you to each and every person that has emailed, like and retweeted – it means a lot! This series is an opportunity for YOU to share your thoughts and opinions and raise awareness about topics you’re passionate about.
It’s going to be a great learning experience for myself too. Learning is one of the most powerful tools out there, and I don’t want my thoughts to stay stagnant. I want to grow and broaden my horizons, and hopefully you can learn along the way with me too. Without further ado, the first in this series is with the lovely Imogen from The Im Life who has chosen to share her thoughts about navigating adult friendships. It’s been really nice to chat to Imogen, so please share your thoughts in the comments below!
“I’m Im, a twenty-something student in Birmingham & creator of TheImLife – a student & lifestyle blog. Friendships are n interesting topic as no matter what stage of life you are in, they can often be tricky, not only to create but to manage. I’m here to discuss the ins & outs of friendships, reflecting on my own experiences from creating friendships at university, to managing long distance friendships. Let’s get to business, shall we?”
- Do you think university friendships work like secondary/high school friendships I.e. you’re only friends due to seeing each other often in the same environment? Is the bond different?
First of all, I would say that the way that your friendship works depends on the person that you are friends with. Similar environments do mean that often friendships naturally develop with what you are doing & where you are, for example; a night out with flatmates or being in the same lecture. I think that the friendship bond here is similar to school friendships.
But I think that the bond is different as it tends to be as you become older, you start to work out who you are as a person, what you like to do & your interests. It’s normal that not every friend will have exactly the same interests as you, but that doesn’t mean you only work in a certain environment. I think the bond is different, as you & your friends grow into your own individuals during university life & being there to support each other is the most important part of the bond.
- Did you have a perception over what friendship would be like at university compared to the workplace?
When first going to university, I had the perception that making friends at university would be much easier than school. Mainly because I thought that by being similar ages & stages of life, would mean that friends would be more on the same ‘wavelength’. But one of the things I wish I’d known before going to uni is that not everyone is going to be your best friend & you can make friends in the most unlikely places (whether this is at university or not), you can check out what else I wish I’d known before going to uni here…
Over time & since being in a working environment for a period of time, this has made me realise that friendships are easy based on the person you are friends with, your similar interests & whether you are comfortable in their company, this includes being comfortable to be sat in silence with them!! (I HATE an awkward silence). So my perception wasn’t necessarily correct, but I guess that’s part of growing as a person & broadening your horizons as such.
- Do you think creating and maintaining adult friendships is harder in this day and age?
So, this is an interesting one, as the internet & social media means that not only can friendships be maintained through text, email, facetime etc, but friendships can also be created through online conversations (even though this is still kind of a taboo topic).
The internet opens up the connectivity with people all over the world, so although personally I think it’s great for long distance friendships, there is probably more pressure to ‘always’ stay in contact. Social media can also present this ‘perfect lifestyle’ which may be difficult if you are missing your friends or haven’t been able to catch up in a while.
But, being able to contact your friends 24/7, is that easier or harder? In some ways, we are so used to texting, it becomes that easy ‘quick’ conversation to check in & that’ll work for some friendships, but for other friendships, scheduling time for facetime or phone calls every once in a while, may be easier. But with busier lifestyles, staying in touch may go a long way with the ‘old fashioned’ approach, sending birthday cards in the post instead of a text for example!
- Do you think that long distance friendships can be managed & sustained?
Yes – I think that they can be! It takes a bit of time to adjust to not being around your friends & work out what is best to keep the friendship long lasting. One of the ways to do so is by planning when you are going to see them next, the same way that you would with a long-distance relationship. Make sure that there is plenty of time to catch up as the time will most likely fly by, but also keep it normal, if you’re used to going for coffee together, go for coffee to catch up. It doesn’t have to be a ‘special’ trip to some fancy champagne bar (Unless you really want to check one out & share that experience with your friend!!). So, plan your time, keep it simple & enjoy your time together!
We’d love to keep the discussion open in the comments down below if you’d like to get involved! Once again, a huge thank you to Imogen for being the first to take part in The Sunday Series. If you’re interested in reading a bit more about the series, please see my recent post here.
Until next time, have a fantastic week.