"Be open, be yourself and treasure the friendships you make at university" – the advice of friendship expert Josie Barnard for students starting university this month.
Josie Barnard, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing with Journalism at Middlesex University and author of 'The Book of Friendship', said: “University is a place where you'll almost certainly make some of your best friends. Many of the friendships you forge here will last your whole life.
“There will be friends who come and go, inevitably - you can't keep them all - but one of the main things I learnt while I was writing about friendship is, treasure it all. Even if what you're learning is that actually badminton doesn't agree with you and nor does your mate's taste for turning up late for seminars, pretty much every interaction with friends is valuable.
“If you're on the same course, straight off the bat, you'll know that you share key interests, you'll go to lectures and the library together. You'll also meet students from other courses - on induction day, in the queue for a coffee. And of course you'll go to parties and bars too where you'll meet still more people. You'll have a lot of fun.”
Josie Barnard’s top tips are:
• Enjoy the whole range of types of friends
• Hit the town with your frivolous friends
• Savour the thrill of in-depth conversations with students who share your academic passions
• Be grateful for your helpful friends (and remember to help them too)
• Keep your word
• Don't try and be someone you're not
• Be open to new possibilities
Barnard argues that it is easy to take friendship for granted, but you shouldn't: “the Greek philosopher Aristotle said true friendships are the highest order of relationships possible in society.”