Arts vs Science: which is harder to make friends in?

Is your nine grand a year buying you any friends?

arts battle friends harold cohen hc liverpool science sj students sydney jones UoL

It’s a battle as old and ugly as the Cypress building.

Seminars vs. Labs. SJ vs. HC. The arts vs science. But which faculty is the loneliest option for the friend-hunting student?  Are you more likely to make friends cutting up a rodent at 9am or as you fight over the last copy of Chairman Mao’s complete works at 11pm at night in the library?

It’s harder to make friends in the Arts Subjects

When you go to university, everyone tells you about what a great time you’ll have, how drunk you’ll get, how many friends you’ll make. But in a subject where you only have as little as 6 contact hours a week, making friends is harder in arts subjects.

Sat with all of my friends

Sat with all of my friends

The lack of contact hours means that making friends is just more difficult. Unlike in the sciences, where you have multiple lectures, labs and tutorials a week, forcing you to spend time with the same people for hours at a time, in subjects like English you may only have 3 hours a week with the same people. And these hours are hardly social, being either lectures, where you sit in silence and listen to the lecturer, or tutorials, where you sit in silence and listen to the one person who’s actually done the reading.

Even when you do make friends, as soon as the semester changes, you find yourself in new modules with people you’re pretty sure you’ve never seen before. You find one person you vaguely recognise, and cling to them, sitting as close to them as possible in the hopes of sparking up conversation. In subjects like history, where seminars are every 2 weeks, you only get 6 chances to see some people in a semester. Is 6 interactions enough to create a profound, everlasting friendship? No.

Please be my friend

Please be my friend

Arts students are solitary creatures. They read books, alone. They write essays, alone. Occasionally, when asked to do a group presentation, they panic, unsure of how social interaction works anymore. They recoil at the idea that their grades rely on another person. When 90% of your degree relies on solo work, integrating yourself back into society can be difficult.


Making friends in Science subjects? Have fun.

Sure, science students have contact hours galore but for most of them you wind up just as isolated as you would be in the arts. Some of us are lucky enough to have labs with rotating groups but a lot of us don’t. You don’t have labs, English students? But you do have ‘workshops’.

Scared and alone

I just want someone to like me

Anyway, getting up at 9am is not productive when it comes to forming bonds of friendship. You look shit, because you haven’t had time for a shower and you’re half asleep. Attempted conversation is the last thing on your mind.

And it’s not just the early mornings: other time in uni is a write off for friend making as well. Lectures are not a social event – trying to write down the three-line equation before the lecturer wipes it from the board and squinting to see if that’s an alpha, a delta or a mu hardly encourages group discussion.

Group projects barely exist either. Even when they do,  it’s not an ideal situation to be making friends when you’ll end up hating the whole group anyway because you’re the only one who bothers to do the work. Other than that you’re confined to lecture theatres and seminar rooms full of people with either their brows furrowed, or a look of utter defeat on their face

Less money for you

You can’t sit with us

At least in arts subjects they encourage discussion on a subject. When it comes to the sciences there’s not much scope for interpretation, you’re either wrong or right – usually wrong. There’s no opposing view or group discussion on various attitudes of a given topic. In science, the discussion is as limited as ‘you reduced your matrix wrong and now your entire answer to question 3 is wrong. Bad Luck’.

So the sciences are just as lacking in opportunity to socialise as the arts. More contact hours doesn’t mean more friends.