An exploration of the diversity of student relationships in a university context.
MetadataShow full item record
The university environment for undergraduate students is a transitionary phase, filled with new experiences and autonomy, it can also be a lonely and stressful stage with students having to navigate between academic and social demands. This qualitative research study explored social diversity in a tertiary context. Six volunteer undergraduate students, between the ages of 18 and 25, underwent an interview process guided by open-ended questions targeted at answering the research questions. The responses were analysed using thematic analysis and various common themes were discovered, contributing to the discussion of findings. These findings revealed that the students had mixed feelings towards their social environment. Many participants hesitated to form diverse relationships, preferring a conservative approach, maintaining social bonds with those they were familiar with, others revealed that they would like to form diverse social relationships, but feel as though they are perceived negatively. It was found that student socialisation is important in helping manage the demands of a new environment; they assist each other academically and recreationally, creating a positive university experience. These research findings may assist students in realising that their perceptions of their environment are not foreign and that other students feel similarly. It can be used to recommend that universities create more conducive environments that will facilitate positive social experiences and prioritize diverse socialising.