Proposition: UCU has a cliqued social environment and it is difficult to make friends after intro week
PRO by Grivenstayn
Apart from the academic side, UCU is socially highly demanding as well. Who hasn’t gone to lunch late, missed all of his or her friends and had to suffer through sitting alone on the far right/left tables or pluck up the courage to awkwardly join someone they barely know? At UCU you cannot be alone, you cannot be labeled as friendless, and you cannot afford to miss too many social events. This place is designed to trap us in all its hyperactivity! People seal themselves off in tightknit groups with others they can trust will always show at all the parties or at lunch at exactly 12:45. It is hard to break into these groups without having a particularly prominent personality (and let’s face it, for some, particularly prominent appearance as well).
So why is this? Why does it become difficult to make friends after introweek? Largely due to the very structure of introweek itself. This long-awaited event works on the assumption that putting kids together in a big room with alcohol, cards and treasure hunts is the best way to get them to bond. It is an intense experience that assumes you are an incredibly social person already (or act as such by all means). You learn that the social norm is to party hard and not eat meals alone in DH. Hence, you’re sort of forced to create a clinging relationship with a few, while you are too fresh and awkward to make friends otherwise.
Competitive class discussions, daily committee events, weekly projects to set up… You have no escape. You need to run around to get to all your events on time, have time to eat, party and then maybe read some of the over-hundred pages for tomorrow. From day one at UCU your schedule is so tight that you only have time to watch a movie with your best friend at 2 am, too tired to even bother about bonding beyond anymore.
CON by Dafifth Marauder
UCU’s social life offers limitless opportunities for anyone to jump head down and take the max out of living on a small campus surrounded by intelligent and fun-loving dudes.
You can always join a committee. Or two. Or three. How can we befriend people better than by working together with someone who shares our interests? Not the devoted, hyper-active, committee-type of person? There are plenty of events served to you on a plate to go to and meet new faces. From casual ArtsCo activities, to Unity Week and TripCo hitchhike, all are great ways to bond with others. You definitely don’t look at people the same way after posing together naked, barely having any recollection of the event (Bartender’s Weekend).
Every year new unitmates come on stage as potential new friends. If you invest a bit more than an awkward “hi-oh-I’m-so-busy-bye” in the hallway, these people can magically turn into best buddies.
Are you the academic, I-came-here-to-study type? Then classes are your battlefield, geeky warrior! Use those breaks to discuss topics with intelligent classmates you respect. You may realize that these frat boys are not as superficial as they seemed.
Before complaining how people are so closed off in cliques – ask yourself first: how open are you? When was the last time you did not seat on a table in DH with your own little group? Sticking to familiar people to feel comfortable in your skin and look cool? Well here’s a crazy idea for you: Others may be thinking that YOU are cliqued too.
Why not make the first step and let someone in: invite a classmate for tea in your unit; offer to cook dinner together on Saturday. Chances are that they’ll take you for a social retard in a dire need of friends. Possible, but not likely. They may as well think it’s a great idea, you end up having a good time and voila: you might’ve just started a friendship for life.
Social life in the bubble is not restrictive. It’s all about the attitude! Certainly, you can safely remain in your cozy comfort zone of a handful of friends you’ve known since introweek (or high school, perhaps?), keep nagging how others are superficial, arrogant and immature (unlike you, alas!) and let your senior yearbook page feature three pictures of yourself.
Or alternatively, you can venture in with an open mind, challenge yourself socially and agree with Twain that twenty years from now you’ll regret more the things you didn’t do than those you did do.