Tales of a Student | My Second Family

Before I moved away to university in 2013, I was so close to my family that I feared I would never cope without them. I had visited Bournemouth only twice within the six months prior to starting my course, and was so nervous that I’m not even sure I could take much in on the open day. I would know no one, barely knew the area, and was already an anxious ant (I’m really not a small girl but I quite liked the alliteration there)…

Three years later, and I can only laugh, smile and feel a little bit sad that my university life is over. As my better blogger and instagrammer friend Lauren said in a recent post titled Turning The Page, it’s really about the people not the place and even moving back to Bournemouth now would not be the same without the friends I made there, and the small group I have dubbed my second family.

Taking it back to the beginning, I chose to live in halls in first year and was put in a flat with people who were different to me on every level and unfortunately not in a positive way, which was a massive shame. I am one of those people who insists I can get along with everyone and it’s true – 99% of the time. I don’t care who you identify as in terms of gender, sexuality, race, religion etc., what your job is (as long as it’s not too criminal), let’s chat and get to know each other. This mindset unfortunately didn’t see me through and after constantly getting little sleep, being awoken at 4, 5, 6am by arguments, smashing of bottles, crap music and bizarrely, cereal being thrown under my door, I moved into a quiet flat. I’ll be clear that my first flat were in no way horrible people but our lifestyles clashed so much, I just had to get out.

Meanwhile, my seminar group were a tight bunch, and for this, I am eternally thankful. There was about 15 or 16 of us, and together, we laughed, cried, facebook inboxed, drank (them more than me but we’ll get to that another time) and worked hard to get our assignments done. Despite the issues with my flat, the true friendships I made in that group were to end up being the driving force behind my uni success and fun.

Very early on into my course, I met Joe and Laura and after living together in second year, we were to be joined by Lauren for our final year as students. By this point, we were all very close friends and couldn’t wait to live as a four. As a group, we just seemed to click and I still laugh out loud walking in public remembering certain things that we said or did together.

I won’t go too in-depth now but our house was a dump, and unless it has been knocked down and rebuilt since last month, it still is. (Shoutout to the people living in it now. I’ll keep you in my prayers). However, for every flaw that house has - and there are so many, the inventory looked like a kid had failed spectacularly on his exam paper and the marker was noting every error – I could give you a reason why it was worth living there. It may sound lame to some but those three people – Laura, Lauren and Joe – really made my uni experience. Don't get confused, I love my blood family so much, but moving away to Bournemouth, having their support while you’re dealing with the good, bad and the disgustingly ugly, and gaining independence, it all made me realise there’s always space for new people in your life.

Whether you’ve just head off for uni yourself, whether you’re moving somewhere new or starting a new path – studying, job, traveling etc, it’s so important to find people who you can treat like family and feel appreciated by. I met a few people along the way who chose to to think “this time will pass” and not make the effort because eventually they would move on, and it's true, you’ll leave each other (*cries*)... but even if it seems to be temporary, the impact it has on you is quite the opposite. On reflection, the lack of bonding I had with my flatmates in first year had a silver lining. It pulled me closer to friends who truly enjoyed my company, would make my stomach ache from laughing, buy me half price treats from the bakery and advise me through my somewhat laughable dating life. I certainly know I couldn’t be more grateful for that second family - not just my housemates, but all the incredible people I met along the way who made me feel like I belonged there.

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Who do you consider to be your second family? Let me know in the comments below!


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