How to Survive Being a Townie

Nipissing has always been a first choice for me. One of the biggest reasons is the amount of money I could save by staying home for University. North Bay has been my home now for eighteen years and I see no reason to be in any rush to change that. Living at home has so many benefits. I still receive delicious home cooked meals, my laundry is done for me for free, and there is no worrying about getting along with potential room-mates. Although living at home has these benefits, it also has its downfalls. Yes, unlike people living in residence I am allowed to own an adorable dog, but to be able to have the full university experience, I have to have more friends than just her. I was terrified that my first day of university I would walk into my first class and see all the groups of friends who had met in residence already, leaving my only friend to be four legged.

At first, this made me think the worst. I thought my only option to make friends would be to start up my own official “Friends Needed Club”.  Why not right? If dungeons and dragons can be a club then why not a club for making friends? Then again, maybe not. Currently I am already in my first month of school, and I haven’t had to resort to such drastic actions.  Yes, there were tons of people who had made friends in residence, but that didn’t mean that they were closed off to the idea of more friends. When I first came to Nipissing for my orientation, one of the best pieces of advice I was given was:

“If you don’t live in residence, make sure to at least make one friend who does, this way you can have the experience of living in residence for free.”

The other thing to remember is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE (cliché right?). You were not the only townie to make the decision to stay in town.  There are lots of people out there thinking of starting a ‘friends in need’ club (or that may just be me).

I found the best way to make friends is being involved. Find people who have similar interests as you, if you like Pokémon, join the Pokémon fan club. If you enjoy volunteering get involved with volunteering clubs around the school such as NUSA or Best Buddies. Sometimes, our professors are the best friend match-makers. If you get partnered up with someone for an assignment get to know them, they may be in your Pokémon-themed wedding party one day. Who said that all your friends have to be from the same school as you? Many people in post-secondary are also taking on part-time jobs, where there are tons of potential friends. The most important thing to remember is not to give up, it may seem impossible at first but there are an abundance of potential friends waiting for you. If this doesn’t seem to help… maybe the “Friends Needed Club” wasn’t actually a bad idea!


Courtney Ivany