Can hometown mates and Uni friends ever truly bond?
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Photo by Katy Anne on Unsplash

Can hometown mates and Uni friends ever truly bond?

Kate Reilly James February 5, 2022

Moving to a new city naturally expands your friend circle, but can your hometown mates and new found uni friends ever truly bond? 

History student Matt says yes

My move to Liverpool for uni was unexpected as I’d hoped to get into a uni closer to home. I got stuck in with freshers and bonded with my house and footy mates over drinks and takeaways almost straight away. 

While they only knew the uni version of me (messy, up for a laugh, shy) initially, we’ve all been on weekends back to each other’s hometowns for birthdays and stag do’s and met up with school friends and families who’ve been really welcoming.

There’s no competition at all. Everyone has got together at the pub and ripped into me. Regardless of how long they’ve known me. I suppose I’ve got a good core group who see past all the unnecessary drama.

A couple of times I’ve had to let a mate at home down when I’ve made plans at uni. But that’s just life, isn’t it? I’m not picking sides.

Can hometown mates and uni friends ever truly bond?

Yeah, for sure. I mean, it might not work for everyone, but I’m one of the lucky ones. They’re all a bit nuts but ultimately good mates who want to see me do well in life while filming me falling over drunk.

Photo by Jed Villejo on Unsplash

Aerospace Engineering student Hannah says no

All my friends are academic and quite a studious lot. But away from Uni we’re like chalk and cheese. I chose a male-dominated study field, so most of my uni friends are male and prefer a few pints down the local to a raucous night out. 

When I go back home I’m still Hannah-banana who goes all in for karaoke, shots and dance offs. I think I might have uni and home life the wrong way round!

My friends at home in Cheltenham are hell bent on clinging onto our teens for as long as possible. Whereas uni feels more grown up and sensible. My best friend, Claire, comes down for the weekend every few weeks and, while my housemates are friendly, we pretty much just do our own thing. 

Can hometown mates and uni friends ever truly bond?

I’m happy keeping uni and home friends separate. I’m maybe a bit different with each group. I’m more professional at uni. When I go home I can let my hair down without feeling like I’m being judged or having to keep up appearances. I don’t think the two groups would bond at all really.


One big happy family or two split groups, the bottom line is, if you’ve got people in your life to call friends, you’re doing something right! There are some top tips on how to keep in touch with friends back home, here.

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Kate is a Journalism and creative writing lecturer and sports journalist. From the BBC red carpet to Premier League PR via creative copy for Greggs, she is a modern April O’Neil with a passion for all things Comic Con.