Do I need to be “the popular kid” at uni?

Everyone can remember a time when popularity was a big deal. If you didn’t experience it at school, it’s more than likely that you will have seen it in a film or two.

I remember in high school, there was a particular group of people who were the British equivalent of the American jocks and cheerleaders. It was these people who many others in the year group aspired to be, but given the chance, couldn’t list salient reasons why.

That was until year 11 when the seemingly strong friendship bonds of the social Kings and Queens were quelled by the realities of life. Pupils were getting older and the looming importance of education had now dawned on them. The once hot fire of popularity was now a heap of smouldering memories and it was time to move on to the real world.

There is, in my eyes, no such thing as the “popular kid” at university, or if so, popularity takes on a whole different meaning by this point. The majority of people who attend university do so on their own accord, education is no longer enforced and you are now in further education because you choose to be. So what is the importance of this with regards to popularity?


Well, fundamentally, the importance of education knocks social popularity off the top spot and therefore concerns of who is the “coolest kid” are left in the playground. Independence is valued at the university level in every sense of the word and as such, groups of social segregation is less apparent. You are free to dip into whichever social waters take your fancy and it is not unusual for these waters to overlap.

No matter what your interests, beliefs, your passions or your downfalls, now is the time to be the person you’ve always wanted to be and to find people who will share your enthusiasms in life. Simply put, University is your time to shine and to choose your pool of water.

Life, especially at university, is far too short to waste, so use your time to find people who are worth your time and effort. One important thing that I forgot a lot of the time was that you can never please everyone, so you might as well start by pleasing yourself. Do what you want to do, not what you think other people want and be yourself. I guarantee there are similar minded people as yourself at the university.

Lastly, should you find yourself struggling at any point during university, no matter what the issue, big or small, please don’t suffer in silence. There are excellent support systems available to give you advice. These facilities are there to be used so that your time at university is an enjoyable one!