Connecting between campuses

A bus driving in the country side.

Distance makes the heart grow fonder?

In recent years, we've seen the ways in which we connect with others evolve – from Zoom parties to WhatsApp calls to Google extensions that allow you and your friends to watch Netflix together despite being in different continents. 

And yet, making friends and maintaining those friendships can still be a struggle for some of us out there – myself included. So today, I chatted to a special guest and wonderful friend, Jazzleen Kho who is a 2nd year veterinary student, to share with us her experiences in forming and maintaining friendships as someone who commutes between North Terrace and Roseworthy.

How often are you at Roseworthy?
Currently, I have to attend 4 days of classes at Rosie. So, my daily routine consists of waking up at 6 a.m., hopping on the bus at 7 a.m, attending classes at 9 a.m. until lunch time, then immediately continuing with practicals until 4pm. I then end the day with a bus ride home at 5 p.m. I heard that next year’s semester 1 has 5 days of class. I can’t say that I am too excited for that to happen, though.

Is it important to have friends from both campuses?
Definitely, having friends from both campuses balances life out. Everyone from the Rosie campus practically sees each other every day for about 10 hours. Safe to say, it is best to take a break from seeing them (no offense). Plus, it is interesting to know what my friends from other courses are learning! 

Do you find it harder to establish and maintain friendships when you’re living/spending most of your time away from them? Why?
As an extremely shy introvert, I face difficulties in making new friends on both campuses, but I try not to say no to opportunities that can help establish these new friendships. I personally do not think that it is an issue maintaining the friendship if the friendship is worth fighting for. As I got older, I learned to differentiate real friendships from the “professional” ones. It can be insanely draining when you try to maintain friendships that are one-sided and all you’re left with is a broken heart. So, it gets relatively easier to maintain friendships when both of you care for each other. It takes sunlight and water to grow a tree, after all.   

What are some challenges that you’ve faced in making friends as someone who doesn’t live on campus (Roseworthy)? 
The fear of missing out has always been in me! Sometimes, I feel envious of the people who could attend club activities that are normally held after class. You could visibly see the bond that Rosie residents have and that is hard to find when students live away from campus. 

How do you connect with your friends from Roseworthy and North Terrace?
There are so many ways to do it. As simple as having meals together or going on “dates” during our free time. Even just keeping each other in check through texting can help bring everyone closer together. My friends don’t do sports or play online games but if they did, those are definitely good ways to distress and bond.

Any tips on maintaining friendships that you’d like to share with fellow commuting students?
Your friends are just a click away. Call them up or text them, it is literally THAT easy. If you’re that type that studies well in groups, study together. If you’re feeling a little fancy, go on trips together during our long break! 

My advice though, I know you are caught up in all the tests and assignments (you’re doing great btw) but the times spent making fun memories are the ones you’ll remember after you graduate. I’m not encouraging you to stop working hard for your studies but take a bit of time out of your week to do some other things. Also, know your self worth and don’t waste your time on people who do not deserve your effort. It is okay if you’re alone or have only a few friends. As long as you don’t compromise yourself too much for the joy of others. Commuting to campus on a daily basis is already energy draining enough!

Thanks Jazz!

I guess distances do play a role in the relationships you have with others, but its impact varies – some people don’t mind spending stretches of time away from one another, while others don’t. I know I’m somewhere in between with good, meaningful, and reciprocated communication being a top priority for me. As Jazz said, maintaining one-sided relationships can be very draining.

Tagged in What messes with your head, international student, connections, Roseworthy, friends, friendship, relationships