Wednesday, May 22Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Getting through a breakup at RHUL

When you are residing on a small centralised campus like Royal Holloway, running into an ex is more probable than not. Fear not! You can still have a wonderful campus life. These tips may not work for everyone, but here are a few things that helped me.

Tip 1: Get some good friends

Every breakup is different. You may have had an entirely separate social circle outside of your ex-partner, or you could have met them through an integrated group of friends or societies. Perhaps you live together in halls or a flat, or you study the same course together. My advice is to make friends that are yours alone, who will unequivocally take your side in those initial weeks of healing. You do not have to give up your mutual friends, but it makes sense to expand your social circle and open yourself up to new experiences.

Tip 2: Open yourself up to new experiences

If you have activities, sports or societies that you partake in, keep them up. Meet the new people that join and enjoy yourself while you’re there! If you aren’t part of any societies, then Royal Holloway Freshers’ Fair is an amazing place to start. You can start conversations with people. It can be daunting, but be brave and attend those initial sessions. So many societies are welcoming and give you something to look forward to each week. I would personally advocate a physical activity because why turn down the chance for some extra endorphins!

Tip 3: Challenge yourself academically

This advice is especially useful for returning students. You may have thoughts or feelings of missing an ex, but those thoughts should not interfere with your studies. For returning students, each year of your studies brings more academic challenges than the last. You don’t need to run out and buy every textbook, but, if you can, contribute to your lectures and go the extra mile for any coursework. You’ll be redirecting your brainpower to good grades and a sense of pride and achievement should come with that.

Tip 4: Reinvent your look

This will sound very clichéd but investing in a new look or routine will boost your confidence. It doesn’t have to be a drastic change, but even a new T-shirt can raise your spirits. I loved investing in a makeup routine because I felt great. I also knew that if I felt great and confident that I wouldn’t be so worried seeing my ex around campus.

Tip 5: Write your own story

The above tips may not work for you, but my final piece of advice is this: learn from your past relationship and take those lessons with you into the next years of your life. Though your time together may be over, you are still your amazing self and the author of your own story. You get to write the next chapter of your life. Good luck to anyone reading this!

Leonie Jenkins