Moving into the friend zone
17/03/2012 Leave a comment
By trying to gain a better education by studying at university for almost four years, it feels quite ironic that one of the strongest lessons which I have learned is in the art of friendship.
Making friends and then maintaining any sort of relationship is something that I have always struggled with.
Not being alone as it isn’t uncommon for somebody with autism to have poor communication skills, this lack of being able to interact with others is something which is felt by many.
However, the feeling of being alone without an option is a problem that cannot always be shared.
Growing up can make changes though and where I would walk into Lichfield City Centre by myself as a lost and unconfident schoolboy, I now get to explore the sights, sounds and smells of Southampton’s City Centre with a little bit of company.
Phil Evans, you are cordially invited to the birthday party of Phil Evans. Come to your own house on Saturday 15th October 2011 at 3pm. RSVP as soon as possible.
Before you ask, this is of course a mock-up of an invitation.
I didn’t actually have a party for the 25th anniversary of my birth.
There was cake though. More importantly, there were also a bunch of people that wished me a happy birthday through the old fashioned methods of cards and spoken voice.
Add a collection of tweets and text messages and well, I was a happy boy who is quickly becoming a middle-aged man.
Well, a man at least. Allegedly. And men tend to have friends.
This is something that I needed to work on and to be honest, a notion of getting to know somebody and build a strong friendship has started to become less of a rarity as I become more and more advanced in my years.
While being taken out of context as Mr. Partridge was talking about the humble cow, a farmyard animal, and the fact that he has more friends than a disgruntled local farmer who appeared on his fictional radio show, I’m not quite so popular but it’s good to have a small circle of close chums.
Going through my years at school and college, having a group of friends is something that I didn’t get to experience.
The odd friend or two, yes. But not a collective of people to rely on.
Leaving home and studying at university has changed this though and I’m thankful.
I’m thankful for the people that have given me a chance to show my good, my bad and my random sides.
Whether it has been through my studies on the BA (Hons) Sports Journalism course, a foray into the radio industry through student and community radio or whether it is meeting people through other means of university life, there are some lovely members of the human race that will hopefully remain in my life for years to come.
Naming names is a potential embarrassment so I’ll leave that detail out.
A little description as a summary though? That’s okay, right?
To abbreviate, CW, DT, BS, GF, SK, SH and JB are talented journalists and more importantly, better friends. WC and another SH are lecturers that while keeping a sense of authority, have became good friends and will hopefully stay that way. DF, JB and JS, you’re lovely young ladies (there’s a clue) and I’m pretty glad that I’ve met you all.
HN, SW, LR, JH, DB and TH, I’ve met you all through university so you’re still relevant to this! I don’t see any of you often but still, thank you for being there when you are.
Finally, OC, JB (once more) and LW, I know you guys will be at home after I finally graduate and leave Southampton. It’s good to know that you’re all still around and that I’ll have people to play golf, drink alcohol or talk about entering the Eurovision Song Contest with, whether we’re being serious or not!
As things are, I couldn’t be happier in life but of course, things have a habit of changing as people grow apart.
A different career path. Changes in personality as families are formed and other priorities take over in life.
Worrying about friendships seems quite silly but when your life has changed through meeting kind and genuine people, you do tend to wonder what is going to happen next.
Going to work and meeting new people happens. We’re all going to do it but for those who I have mentioned, thank you for making life fun!