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Guest Post: 'Don't be a stranger' - maintaining relationships when taking an apprenticeship

It’s inevitable that a number of your friends will end up going to university, even if you decide not to. That’s ok though - there’s nothing wrong with being different. 

Bekah Leonard
15th February 2016
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If you truly believe that university is not right for you, you absolutely should not be going – regardless of what everyone else does. But the social aspect of university is an important factor people keep in mind when deciding whether higher education is the right option for them. With that in mind, it’s important to understand that pursuing an alternative route to your chosen career does not mean saying goodbye to friends and relationships. In fact, weathering through this challenging transition could help solidify relationships for life.

Nervous about how your relationships will fare? Here’s how you can hang on to your social life, while following your passion!

Social media

Finding someone who hasn’t got at least one account on some form of social media platform is a rarity these days. Be it Twitter, Facebook, or even Instagram – they’re a brilliant way of keeping tabs on your friends and staying in touch. If you see an update or photo from someone you know online, take the time to comment. Show that you’re interested in their life and assure them that you haven’t forgotten them – it’ll also remind them that you’re around and give them a nudge to say hello. Instant messaging is easy thanks to these platforms, so it won’t take too long out of your busy schedule to have a quick catch up online.


Your mobile phone is probably always within easy reach. However if you’re particularly busy and don’t have time to settle in for a long conversation, why not send off a quick text and reply when you have the chance. The great thing about texting, or even emailing, is that you aren’t expected to reply right away. Keeping the lines of communication open and utilising group chat functions whether it’s on Facebook or Whatsapp means less chance of losing touch in the long run.

When it comes to your significant other, it might be a different matter. Depending on your relationship and personal preference, you may find that the occasional text throughout the day may work better than trying to constantly update each other every ten minutes. There will be pockets of time where you’re both free. Using that time to catch up allows you to embrace the experience of being in an apprenticeship and gives you more to catch up on.

Making time

It may be easier said than done, but it’s definitely not impossible to do.  With some friends at university and some doing apprenticeships, it can be hard to touch base regularly. Establishing an end-of-the-month dinner or one day within a month to meet up gives you the chance to have a catch up, maintain those bonds and have a fantastic time away from the demanding study and work schedules your programmes involve.

Stay realistic

As people embark on new adventures, change is inevitable. Friendships may fade and relationships will come to a natural end, especially as we start to figure out who we are as individuals. It’s important to remember that this is a natural occurrence and happens to many people throughout their life. The relationships that do survive this transition clearly have the potential to withstand other life changing events that are thrown at you. With the additional help of these top tips, we’re sure your different educational paths won’t hamper the relationships that matter to you the most.


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