Old Friends are Gold
When I was about eight years old, I had a teacher who loved cross-stitch. She had all sorts of inspirational quotes and proverbs decorating her classroom, all stitched by hand and with beautiful decorative borders. I remember that the one that my desk faced had a pair of gold and silver bells at the top:
New friends are silver Old friends are gold When you make new friends Don’t forget the old
I’ve definitely made a lot of new friends at uni – my Facebook friends list has more than doubled in size since leaving sixth form and I’ve met a lot of really cool people. Some of them are mathematicians far more talented than I. Some of them are quizzers who can tell you a bit about everything. Some of them are wonderful ambassadors from the Warwick Welcome Service, who have inspired countless young people to pursue a university education. Not all of them are close friends – some of them are just people I’ll say “hi” to every so often, or we’ll trade stories while we’re working and be back on our way. That isn’t to say that there aren’t close friends in the mix – I’ve been able to connect with people at uni in a way I never could back home, what with the lack of curfews and the tendency to lean on each other for support in times of need, leading to conversations stretching late into the night.
I met up with some of my friends from “back home” yesterday. I hadn’t known them for quite as long as that cross-stitch poem – just from when we started sixth form in 2013. In some ways, it’s amazing how much we’ve changed – we started out as a group of awkward teenagers with visions of uni life stitched from the threads of The Student Room, and now we’re a group of awkward twenty-somethings who all envy Daniel for having his electricity bill included in his rent.
In other ways, it’s amazing how little the group has changed. I see Robert and Ryan pretty regularly – they’re only a stone’s throw away from Warwick – but I hadn’t seen Jamie, Daniel or Felix in at least a year. We went to the arcade, and it was like no time had passed at all since we had UCAS applications to worry about and unproductive free periods to wander Norwich in. We still laughed at the same stupid in-jokes, and about the new things in our lives too – the unis we’re going to and the people we’ve met there. Even though we don’t have the same timetable and form room any more, we’re still good friends. Moving away from home doesn’t have to mean abandoning your old friends – mine are only a Facebook message away if I need them, and hopefully that’s the way it’ll be for many years to come.
And who knows? A few years down the line, I might be having the same sort of meetup with my uni friends!