Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Can we be less than ‘friends’? 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.

Edited by: Akshali Gugle

This is for the first-year students and also anyone else who needs to hear this. 

Imagine if Relationships was a Foundation Course at Ashoka, what would your first discussion session entail? 

Your TF will begin the discussion on popular narratives around relationships after you all are done with “Hi, I’m *name*. My (intended) major is …”  As and when the ‘discussion’ starts sounding more like a lecture, a confident voice will pop up. It will bear the brunt of being the first one to break the silence. The person will ask a question that is as Ashokan as it can get – “No but how do you define relationships?” If my first-year self were present there (and could muster the courage to speak up), she would go on to state roughly the three broad kinds of relationships she was aware of. Friendships, romantic relationships, and professional relationships with professors. For her, in the case of non-romantic and non-professional relationships, something was either supposed to be a friendship based on a set of checkboxes or it was not. There could be nothing in between. But, guys, listen, she has evolved now (or so she claims). 

To subvert your expectations, let me just say at the outset that I will not be ranting about the Gen Z era that is rampant with situationships, delusionships, soulmate-ships, etc., or share my two (unsolicited) cents on romantic relationships with professors or TFs or TAs. With the hope that I didn’t lose your interest already, I want to talk about the myriad of platonic relationships that often do not confine to the narrow domain of one-word labels. Let’s go!

  1. The one with that sweet cohort leader (bonus points if they weren’t your cohort leader) you met during your O-week (sorry, UG24s and upwards who attended a virtual O-week): Yeah, maybe later on they became your coursemates, floormates or fellow club members, but they’ll most importantly be remembered for welcoming you in a strange, strange place.
  1. The one with that club fella whose existence is only confirmed by their presence in weekly club meetings: Throughout the week, every encounter is limited to a smile but when you meet them, you know that there is a shared spirit/goal.
  1. The one with whom you just rant about your major: Yes, I didn’t get my Psych gateway course yet again. Yes, I also don’t get choices for professors unlike other departments *scoffs at Eng and Eco majors*. Yes, my degree trajectory also got messed up. *At this point, the writer took some break from writing this article because of sheer frustration.* 
  1. The one with whom you only see at breakfast: It might be odd but it’s cute only. Also, kudos for making it to breakfast on time. 
  1. The one with whom you used to work together but then you left that organization due to other commitments and yet they remain sweet and warm. 
  1. The one with whom you bump into your Residence Hall’s lift: It’s just a hi-hello thing. You don’t know much about their lives except that you’re in the same RH (or that they might be reaping benefits from the cross-access policy). It’s like the Ashokan version of metro commuters. 
  1. The one with whom you meet in karaoke or open mic nights: This relationship also doesn’t check all the boxes for a personal-level friendship. But, bonding over your favourite songs or appreciating each other’s poems, now isn’t that amazing?
  1. The one with a regular reader of your HC articles: Well, I have been on the side of being a reader and I can attest that this is a beautiful kind. 

Feel free to add more examples to the list in your head or even reach out to me. I’d love to speak to you. 

To anyone who is thinking ‘it’s not that deep, bruh!’: Does it hurt anyone to make it deep, to make it scattered, to make it messy? Isn’t all of this what Ashoka is about? To move beyond the binaries and view things on a spectrum. So, indeed, we can be less than ‘friends’ in various beautiful ways and that seems okay.

Heyyo! I thought my writing already gave you my introduction, but okay, here are some details: I am a UG25. I intend to major in Psychology and Philosophy. My interests include writing(so surprising!), documenting stuff around me and making up scenarios. And now I am just shamelessly going to ask you to check out my Instagram page: @poetrybypoorvaja.