From School to College: Treading the Path of Friendships

As our beloved freshers have officially entered college, seniors talk about their experiences in DU when it comes to making friends. 

Freshers have now officially entered our beloved University of Delhi (DU). Orientations have taken place. And now the stage is set for them to make some new friends in DU.

But, wait a second! Making friends in DU, in an entirely different city (in case of outstation students), and especially in a virtual mode can be a daunting task. While the previous batches have been fortunate to have at least attended college physically, freshers from the 2023 batch will have to learn a little to know more about the overall friendship scenario of DU.

For this task, DU Beat talked to many seniors and current DU students who shared their experiences of making friends in their first year. Let’s not forget that DU exists because diversity exists. Thus, while diversity has definitely added rainbow colours to the general atmosphere of the university, it has somewhere created certain barriers too. This was well explained by outstation students who complained about feeling isolated initially in college as the city and its people were alien to them.

Coming from a small town in West Bengal, it was very difficult for me to cope up with the city life that I encountered in Delhi. The culture shock and elitism in our college turned me into a loner, where I set up boundaries because I could not relate with my classmates. I felt I was out of the place because I could not match the way people were around me. So I remained lonely for most of the time. But very soon I befriended someone who is very much like me. Regions, language, habits and culture don’t matter when you can vibe with someone really well.

– Sambrita Bhattacharya, second year student, Delhi University

Another important trend we found was regarding how people who were generally introverted in schools found it much more difficult to make friends in college initially. For most of us, schools haven’t really been very kind. Schools were and are filled with faulty ideas, stereotypes and problematic notions. Besides that, schools hardly work on nurturing human bonds than focussing on report cards and grades. But DU can certainly be a change maker when it comes to this aspect. DU can be a space where you definitely have to put in a lot of efforts in terms of academics. However, it becomes enriching as an emotion too. DU will certainly make you unlearn a lot of ideas and will transform you for the better. The once introverts can change into confident individuals, as many students shared with us. Thanks to some lovely DU friendships! 

I have always been a very reserved person ever since. During school, I had very selected classmates who I could hardly call my “friends”.  Came college, and I was in a dilemma, as to how am I gonna fit in. From Quora, I had learnt that students in LSR are quite vibrant, dynamic with a sprinkle of elitism. Me being such a simple person, I was lost during the first few months. Yes, not even days, months.I stepped out of my comfort zone, and talked to MANY people, which I normally never did. I could hardly strike a chord with anyone. It has been a long and rough journey to socialise for an ambivert person like me, but I did find the best people at last!

– Shikha Chandra, second year student, Lady Shri Ram College

For outstation students who form a major chunk of what we call DU life, making friends can certainly be a little more challenging. This becomes all the more challenging if the student doesn’t have school friends in DU . A lot of students while moving to Delhi from a different city do so together with their friends. It’s very common to see how school friends become college friends too in DU. This is not only encouraging and morally supportive, but also deepens friendship.

Thus, an important aspect that one should look at while discussing friendship in DU is school friendships too. School friends in a sense have always held our hands and losing them becomes difficult. However, most of us aren’t really fortunate to have got them in DU too. Students talk about how presence of their school friends in college helped them survive DU:

I was literally so happy when I got to know that my school friend also took admission in the same college. I don’t know how to describe that emotion, but her presence made my one year in DU so fulfilling. Initially, we used to meet occasionally in college as she lived in PG and I was in a hostel. However as she shifted to hostel, we spent more time together, went for night walks on campus etc. School friends in DU can literally help you “live” in DU.

– second year student, Delhi University 

Thus, while a lot of freshers may be keen on completely getting cut off from their school friends, seniors aren’t really supporting that idea.

Some seniors explained how college friendships definitely make one learn a range of things. Be it sensitivity, care or maturity in handling relationships. College friendships especially in DU become all the more meaningful because one becomes conscious of one’s own emotional needs as well as their friend’s. This all happens because of the culture DU inhabits. You won’t just be limited to your own college, rather will meet people from different colleges. This will mostly happen when you will do a lot of internships, join various societies etc. 

However, freshers! Never forget that school friendships go in tandem with DU friendships. While staying in touch with school friends can certainly be stressful given that handling multiple friendships actually leaves none meaningful. Yet if you try , especially with the extra advantage of being a day scholar, you can actually stay connected with your school friends.

School friends are irreplaceable. I love them. I am greatly fond of them. But that was also because all of us were in Delhi only for our college. I kept meeting them at least once in a month so that kept our friendship alive.

– Saanjh Shekhar, second year student, Delhi University

School friends tend to support one always, be it happy or sad times. It certainly becomes difficult to catch up with them regularly especially when you are an outstation student. However, one needs to understand that to get the real taste of your graduation, holding school friends close to bosom is crucial. It would be absolutely wrong to say that entering college makes school friends replaceable. Rather one needs to see that no one is replaceable and rather emotions you once attached with your friends in school change in college. You may not talk on calls everyday. May not meet. Yet whenever you will meet, it will be a revival of all the good school memories.

The overwhelming experiences of the freshman year of college can’t be endured without your best friends. And you may make as many friends as you want in college but the connection that you have with your school/ childhood friends is definitely “sacred” and irreplaceable. School friends know the decent and innocent part of you which you start to lose as you mature once you start college because of course we need to grow up to sustain in the habitats that we’ve newly entered.

– Aditi, second year student, Delhi University

Thus, on an ending note, what freshers really need to learn in college in their graduation years is forming human bonds without losing individuality. While there can be an added peer pressure of making friends, fitting in a particular elite group of class etc. don’t let that affect you negatively in any way. Many seniors talked about how DU taught them a lot when it comes to friendships. 

Making friends in a place as diverse as DU is an experience in itself. Making friends in DU has taught me that you don’t need to be similar or relatable in order to have a great bond. Eventually you find your tribe, a group full of misfits, and still have the time of your life with them.

– Avni Dhawan, third year student, Kamala Nehru College

Don’t lose hope if you aren’t able to make friends quickly. Also never lose your individuality to suit the needs of your peers in college. What college life should ideally teach you is- making friends who don’t make you forget your real self. But also making friends who make you understand and realise who you actually are. 

And yes! Please don’t lose school friends.

Read also: Friendships in College and How to Make a Lasting Bond

Read also: To All the Friends I Lost on My Way

Featured Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Navneet Kaur

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