If you don't party at least as hard as you study, you're doing it wrong

Study-play balance ... you should devote as moany hours to socialising as you do to studying.
Study-play balance ... you should devote as moany hours to socialising as you do to studying.

Friends made at university will remain your closest throughout life. This is both because you're likely to find sympatico buddies in the same course, and because your years after uni will be spent in unending, soul-destroying work and exhausting, stressful child-rearing. So make friends now while you can, for heaven's sake. Here's how.

Spend time on campus

Whether it's by signing up for activities or hanging around the campus venues or attending those poxy-sounding subsidised parties with names like ''The O-Week SupaFunFest'', you should devote as many hours to socialising as you do to studying.

Sometimes this may be 12 consecutive hours at the uni bar and may resemble being lazy, but you should justify it to yourself and others as an investment in your social future.

Just go easy on the subsidised booze, or you may end up close buddies with people you don't actually like when sober.

The only exception is if you're doing a degree such as medicine, which involves full-time hours. You will make lots of friends in your course through sheer necessity, as you'll never see anyone else, even your families.

Don't worry - you'll eventually hook up with someone from your course and ultimately create a family with them, so it'll work itself out.

Sort of.

Reinvent yourself

Uni allows you to farewell the person you were in high school and start again.

So you can redefine yourself as cool on campus even if you were a massive dag in high school. The other great thing about uni is the multiplicity of versions of ''cool'' that exist.

Jocks will find other jocks, as they did in high school, but equally, science geeks will find that there are barbecues where they can impress their fellow students with an encyclopaedic knowledge of World of Warcraft instead of getting beaten up.

And in the English department, it's even cool to be into poetry.

Choose carefully in first year, though. It won't be easy to re-reinvent yourself as a political-activist type if you've spent your first few years getting blotto with the skiing club.

The only barrier to reinvention is other students you know from high school who still remember the Old You.

As part of their own attempt to reinvent themselves as popular, they might tell everyone about the time your pants fell down on stage during a school assembly.

House parties

The best place to develop friendships is at house parties. Whether they're in a grotty inner-city dive or a pleasant parental home, they are what will make your weekends great.

There will be music, dancing, and lots of cosy little corners in which to chat and, in some cases, snog.

Just steer clear of the bowls of dip unless they've just been opened.

Occasionally you may be tempted to host a house party. Everyone should do this once for fairness's sake, but just know this: any accessible alcohol anywhere in the house will be drunk, and the gargantuan clean-up will make you regret hosting the party, as will the damage bill.

After which you will spend the rest of your degree attending other people's parties so you can have all of the fun and none of the floor-scrubbing.

This story If you don't party at least as hard as you study, you're doing it wrong first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.