College offers many opportunities to connect with people and form lasting bonds with those around you. By having a solid support group in your home away home, you are setting yourself up for success within all realms of college life. Here at Her Campus we put an emphasis on being socially connected as a part of becoming a successful collegiate woman. Part of the purpose of our community is to help women on Ball State’s campus form and maintain a killer support group. Keep reading for our key points on developing healthy college friendships.
- Rethink how you form friendships.
Leaving your dorm room door open, starting up conversations in the dining hall line, sitting by someone new in the library, or joining an organization you feel passionate about. Each of these are examples of different opportunities to foster connections and form friendships on campus. Any opportunity to interact with someone else is an opportunity to make a new friend. Once classes start, make friends with those sitting around you, or even the other little boxes on your Zoom call. These connections come in handy when you have questions about assignments or miss a day of class. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and ask for numbers or social media handles. College is not high school. Most times, people are very open to making new friends, and you never know how the smallest interaction can blossom into an important relationship. Putting yourself out there will pay off in ways you might not expect.
- Friendships = Relationships.
Oftentimes it can be easy to put more energy into romantic relationships and neglect platonic friendships as a result. Finding a balance between all of your relationships is key to social success in college. Put effort into your social life, especially with your female friends because women need women. When balancing a romantic relationship amongst friendships, it is important to give equal amounts of effort. Friendships require nurturing as much as romantic relationships do. Every relationship you have deserves a balanced and healthy expression of your love.
- Learn about how you give and receive love.
Learning about your love language as well as your friends’ is crucial to maintaining satisfying friendships. Understanding one’s love language allows you to show love to your relationships in the most effective way. This understanding brings clarity and deeper connections. Below is a list of the five love languages.
Acts of Service: You feel loved when a friend or partner offers to help you with anything from homework to laundry so basically anything that can ease your life just a bit more!
Words of Affirmation: You feel loved when you hear things like “I’m so proud of you” “You’re doing such a great job” or “I love you”.
Quality Time: You feel loved when you just get to spend time with your loved ones.
Receiving Gifts: You feel loved when someone gives you something that shows how they know you.
Physical Touch: You feel loved when you are physically near the people you care about.
Quick ways to give each language attention
College is undoubtedly one of the busiest times of your life. With a busy schedule, it may feel like you or your friends have dropped off the radar. Fear not, there are quick ways to show each love language in between your jam-packed days.
Acts of service- if a friend is struggling in a subject that you know well, help them with their homework or studying. This act of service shows that you care about their success and lets them know in a way they understand.
Words of affirmation- write out a quick ‘thinking of you’ text to a girlfriend, like wishing her a good day, and she will feel the love through your words.
Quality time- if you need to do your grocery shopping or study for that big exam coming up, invite your quality-time-loving friend to come with you, this will strengthen the bond by showing your love through time spent together.
Receiving gifts- as a broke college student, it isn’t always possible to buy gifts for those around you, but you can always make do with what you have. If you have extra meal swipes at the end of the week, pick up your friends’ favorite snack or candy! Write a cute note on it and hand it off to them and they will for sure feel your appreciation for the relationship
Physical touch- Giving your friend a hug as a greeting when you see her is an easy way to communicate through physical touch.