making friends 

makingFriendsMain

 

A new academic term is just around the corner, if not already started, and for those of you who have chosen to study abroad or head off to university – your adventure is about to begin. There will be challenges ahead, possibly when it comes to making new friends. Although forming friendships can seem daunting, it’s important to remember that being a good friend is easy and making new friends is fun – here’s why.

Author: Mabel Smith

July was the month for Social Wellness and as summer break rolls on and your study abroad programme or uni departure draws closer – mindhamok are here to talk about friendship.

Our recent Instagram post provides tips on forming new friendships. However, at mindhamok, we know that it can often be a lot easier said than done. Deep down, we know how to do it. We know that it means getting out of our rooms, walking up to strangers and putting ourselves out there – but sometimes it feels like we just can’t do it. 

So let’s remind ourselves why we should, can and will get out there and make some friends. Because we’re awesome – and people deserve to know it! 

A fresh start 

The most beautiful part about starting university or studying abroad is that we’re going somewhere new. Nobody knows us! And yes, that can be daunting but it’s also pretty cool. We get to talk to people who know absolutely nothing about us. Remember that time you fell over in class and spilt coffee all over yourself? Of course you do – but your neighbours in Madrid won’t! Or that time you sneezed so hard you farted? How could you forget? But guess what? Your study partner in Paris doesn’t have a clue about your bodies’ natural gasses or the intensity of your sneezes. 

If we’re being honest, we believe in owning all our embarrassing stories. There’s nothing funnier than re-telling them and there’s no story that is too embarrassing to tell. And when we’re meeting new people: we have control over the narrative. And that doesn’t just apply to embarrassing stories; we get to control the narrative of ourselves. Now we’re not suggesting you pretend that you’ve descended from royalty or that you’re an undercover CIA agent (unless you are – but should you really be telling people that?). However, you do get the chance to meet new people as the person you are now. Today. There’s no pre-determined pressure or expectation – it’s just us and our future and our future friends. What a time to be alive! 

 

Imposter syndrome 

Imposter syndrome is a term that’s usually used in workplace environments. However, it can trickle into our personal lives too. Imposter syndrome is the feeling that we are not as competent or capable as others perceive us to be. It’s the fear of being a phony, and that others may eventually see that we aren’t good enough. 

Now, when we go to a new place surrounded by people we don’t know – we become vulnerable. We’re not as secure as we once were at home. But what we’ve got to remember is that people don’t look at us the way we think they do. Annoyingly, it always comes back to self-worth. And if you’ve read our recent blog on self-worth and body image, you’ll know that self-worth isn’t easy to gain. However, we must remember that we are worth knowing. We are funny, intelligent, kind, and resilient beings. We are worthy of happiness and friendship. And if doubt begins to trickle in, if we start worrying that people will start seeing the parts of ourselves that we hate – that’s the time to remember what we’re good at. And if we’re unsure of where to start, we’ve got one for you: 

You are brave. 

You have packed up and crossed oceans to live in a city that you’ve never lived in before. Without your friends or family. How badass is that? That’s the kind of story you tell your grandkids or retirement home buddies when you’re 85 and playing checkers whilst sipping on some decaf Earl Grey tea. 

Making friends can be hard. But we must remember that we’ve made them before. We’re good people, and good people make for great friends. Put your mind in a hammock and enjoy the ride…

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