The Complications Of Introducing Your Home Friends To Your Uni Friends

What if they hate each other? Or worse, what if they love each other?


by Isabelle Aron |
Published on

Throughout secondary school, I had a tight-knit group of girl friends. The notion that I might ever need or want to bag myself a new bunch of friends never crossed my mind. On the night before uni we went to our local to say goodbyes, and blub over cheap wine. We vowed that we’d visit all the time, send letters so we’d actually get some post, and that we’d never replace each other.

We might have failed on the first two (after blowing my student loan on Cheeky Vimtos, my bank balance couldn’t really stretch to cover much cross-country travel and who owns stamps at uni?) but the latter, at least, we stuck by. And although I didn’t replace my school friends, I did add new ones. And for a while, I blissfully led two lives without ever having to mix school and uni groups.

But eventually, you’ll be forced to introduce your home friends to your uni friends. And that’s when things become complicated…

You have to explain that friend

You know, the hanger-on. The one you’ve known since you were little but have nothing in common any more. You’ve grown apart but she hasn’t yet got the hint – and even if you did try to shake her off, your mum’s best friends with her mum, so it’s never going to happen. It’s not that you’re embarrassed by this friend, it’s just you that don’t want your uni friends getting cornered by her for a 20-minute monologue about how much she loves McBusted. OK, you’re a little embarrassed.

Birthdays are stressful

You could plan separate birthday celebrations for uni friends and school friends, but that seems slightly like a child of divorce trying to appease its consciously uncoupling parents. Birthdays are the prime time to bring both groups together – they’re all glad you were born, right? But it’s a delicate operation that can go either way.

I went to one friend’s party where there was such a clear divide between uni and home friends that it was like an invisible force field keeping us within our designated sides of the room. When I pointed out this Berlin Wall-style divide to another mate, she admitted that she just couldn’t really be arsed with all the small talk. Turns out, people are lazy.

**Small Town Syndrome is totally a thing **

If you’re from a small town and your home friend swans off to London and starts hanging out with people who think they’re cooler than you, you’re probably not going to warm to them. And it’s equally tricky if your best pal at uni is from the arse-end of nowhere but you’re from a big city. When you start banging on about all the warehouse raves you go to during the Christmas holidays, before hopping on the night bus home, your uni friend might feel a bit awkward mentioning that she has to drive 15 miles to the nearest pub – which closes at 10.30pm on the dot.

READ MORE: In Defence Of Back At Home Friends

**Your home friends can ruin your rep **

Regardless of the image you might wish to carve out for yourself at uni, your home friends know the truth. At university you can be whoever you want to be – until your home friends blow your cover. Mine have known me since I was wearing lilac cord flares and Punkyfish tops. Once you’ve got to uni and established yourself as a skinny jeans and Air Max kind of girl, you do not need that shit coming back to haunt you.

They already know a lot about each other

When in your uni bubble, you will moan about your home friends – whether it’s missing a Skype date, the fact that they never come to visit, or the more heinous crime of sleeping with your ex-boyfriend the minute you leave. So when your home friend is finally introduced to your uni mates, you’ll be crossing your fingers and hoping no-one puts their foot in it by mentioning that time she seriously misjudged her gag reflex mid-blowjob and vommed on her boyfriend’s penis. You swore you’d never tell anyone, but uni mates don’t count, right?

It cuts both ways. I felt particularly awkward when I came face-to-face with my uni friend’s best friend from home, whom I had never met, but had Facebook-stalked pretty consistently for over a year. The only other thing I knew about her was that she once got fingered on a trampoline by four different boys at a party (one after the other, since you asked). I struggled to keep a straight face as I gushed, ‘I’ve heard so much about you’.

**They might all hate each other... **

You like to think that your friends have great taste – that’s why they’re mates with you, no? But at uni, even your trusted best pal can go a bit rogue. I had a friend who really bigged up her housemate as this ‘amazing girl’ who I would ‘totally get along with.’ But when we met, I realised she was the type of person who tried to get people to call her by her initials – in the style of Lauren ‘LC’ Conrad in Laguna Beach. For that, and various other crimes too heinous to mention here, I just never warmed to her. Which was awkward.

And not getting along doesn’t just stretch to girl friends. There’s nothing like coming home for Christmas to discover that your best friend met the ‘love of her life’ three weeks into uni, and has brought him back for the holidays to meet the parents. Particularly, when the guy in question is a second-year politics student with lots in the way of strident opinions and very little in the way of shampoo, or indeed, deodorant.

READ MORE: In Defence Of All-Female Friendship Groups

...but it might actually be really great

The first time we threw a party at uni, I thought it would be a great opportunity to invite all my home friends along en masse. Within an hour, both sets of friends had quite literally formed a supergroup and I found them in the corridor singing a Disney medley at a very loud volume, much to the dismay of the middle-aged woman who inexplicably lived below us in halls. So if you’re nervous about bringing your new and old friends together, a pissed rendition of ‘Hakuna matata’ always breaks the ice.

**Follow Isabelle on Twitter **@izzyaron

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Picture: Lukasz Wierzbowski

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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