Why uni mates are friends for life
two women lying down on vehicle
Photo by Greg Raines on Unsplash

Why uni mates are friends for life

Kate Reilly James January 14, 2022

Years spent at university are easily the most transformative of your lives. When you make a connection, whether it be housemates, SU crew, teammates or part-time workmates, you’ll always share an unbreakable bond, fused by mad nights out, exam stress and petty drama.

If you’ve ever waited patiently while a mate throws up £25 worth of ale before handing them cheesy chips for the walk home, you’re a pal for life.

If you’ve bought £1 face masks, cute stationery, highlighters and a crate of VK to cheer up a friend after breaking up with that fit-but-dim lad from the Sports Science degree course, you’re a pal for life.

Have you lied to your uni lecturers/pastoral care advisor/family about your mate’s whereabouts to save them explaining the embarrassing truth? Yep, you’re in.

If you’re rapidly approaching 30 and still using your second year uni mate’s Netflix log-in, you guys have got it down!

Making history together

The trials and tribulations of spending three years-plus with a core group of mates that expands and contracts through arguments, boyfriends, girlfriends, illness, gap years, holidays and graduation, are all encompassing as milestones are reached, major life decisions are made and history is created.

Me and Beth* cemented our lifelong friendship the time we both caught norovirus while at Liverpool uni and simultaneously had ‘an accident’ in the corridor outside our student halls. We had to call an ambulance, we were so ill.

When it arrived, I projectile vomited on the paramedic at the door. He went on to find Beth lying in the shower tray, fully clothed and covered in, well, things you don’t want to be covered in!

Once you’ve experienced that level of embarrassment and lived to tell the tale, you’re hardly falling out over a ‘borrowed’ jacket or who owes more for the gas and electricity that month.

Friends Reunited

As the years pass by, you will be reunited at weddings and birthday bashes, where you’ll continue the traditions of drunk limbo, quad shots, and piling furniture on whoever falls asleep first, watched in despair by elderly relatives and tutting aunts.

You’ll know when you’ve met your crew. It may just be one really good mate who stood by you through it all. It could be a whole bunch of people who are now treated like family by your actual relatives who will never know how many times you sat in the GUM clinic on a Sunday morning together. Or how close you came to being kicked out of uni for only turning up twice during your third-year Psychology degree. Or the real-life horror of admitting you 100% chose the wrong degree but stayed for the lolz.

Uni mates – we love to see it.

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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.