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'How can I shake off the friend who takes advantage of me?'


Can you advise this student nurse?

“When I started my course last September I was really happy to find I was living with someone who was also doing nursing.

“It was so good to have someone to go to lectures with on the first day. But now that I’ve settled in and met more people I’ve realised how different we are and how much she holds me back.

“She always assumes we’ll “work together” on essays and be in the same presentation group and I don’t know how to say no.

“She doesn’t do any work for group stuff and she copied my references for the last essay we did. But if I get annoyed at all then she laughs and makes a joke about it and we end up just talking about something else.

“I don’t want to say anything and make my living situation a nightmare but it’s pretty bad as it is and she has no idea.

“Any advice?”

Please use the comments section below to share your advice

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Readers' comments (3)

  • It isn't fair that you're putting in the hard work and she is reaping the rewards, or that you are made to feel obliged to help her. It's not going to be easy to change this, but best to get rid of this problem as quickly as possible because you still have two years of the course to go, and if she realises how easy she currently has it she will not let you go.

    I'd advise doing your work outside of your flat/house, go to University or the library or even a friend's house to get it written and do so alone, this means you at least get to write what you want without her breathing over your shoulder. If this is too inconvenient, lock your bedroom door while you work or put your headphones in.

    It will be difficult to tell her to back off, but try to tell her you want to work alone and if she asks to see your work (I know it can be really hard to say no), either offer verbal help, just with guidance or structure, or at an absolute maximum send her part of your work, just a paragraph or two, to help her get on - do not allow her to see all of your work. If she asks for references, give her an author or two at maximum or phrases to search for - finding references is a huge part of the work and her taking your references will make you both look bad if your essays look too similar.

    There's nothing wrong with helping friends, and of course you should want to help, but you want to do the best you can and if you work hard for your grades there is no reason she should get the same results without the effort. Be strong and make it clear that you're not happy with how it is going! Good luck :)

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  • She may be a friend now but being a bit cynical (I'm an old girl!) she may be just using you. Once you've finished your course I would be surprised if you see or hear from her again. So do what's best for YOU!

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  • Tricky situation but you also need to be aware of your university's policy on plagiarism & collusion - which could get you both expelled from the course and also failing registration on good character grounds, even if you were allowed to stay on the course. This has happened here in Qld. Do your own own, no harm in verbally discussing but anything beyond that can be construed as collusion. Tell her you are more than happy to discuss but you have found that you need to work things out for yourself. Make it about you and not her and you will find it easier.

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