The Company You Keep in College

The time you have in college is probably the most important time to shape your future. We tend to focus on either making really high grades, networking, joining/running organizations, community service, working jobs, interning, or just balancing a little of bit of each. All of these things are great, but one thing many underestimate negatively impacting your goals in college is the company you keep. Your friends, your significant other, or anyone in your close circle can be a huge influence on your life without you even realizing. If their energy is genuine, positive and mutual then this can be an amazing, life-changing thing. If not, it can be detrimental to your experience. If you’re wondering how to determine how to sort the good company from the bad company, here are some red flags to look for.



The Unsupportive: If the people around you are not supportive of you, then that’s an instant sign that they should not be in your close circle, and that they should probably be moved from the friend zone to just acquaintance. A lot of this energy tends to come from jealousy or envy, so it's even more crucial to avoid it. It’s imperative to have those who are around you supporting your dreams and believe in you 100% because if they don’t, doubts you never had before will begin to surface. These type of “friends” or “boyfriends/girlfriends” are dream killers in a sense and their position in your life should be reevaluated, immediately



The Slackers: Those around you should be doing SOMETHING... anything! These are the people you see who are doing absolutely nothing to benefit their futures. If they’re not participating in campus involvement, they should be doing something off campus. Anything they believe in that benefits their life and maybe someone elses. Their goals and ambition should correlate with their actions. This is not to say they have to always be hitting the books and doing community service, they can have fun too, but they should also be shaping their futures, or even just their current place in life. Staying around those who don’t do anything will cause you to start doing slacking off as well. Step away from this energy, and put yourself out there, away from your comfort zone and see how fast your life starts to thrive and become balanced.



The Gossipers: Those who only want to talk about what others are doing is an obvious sign of negativity. These are the type of people who discuss people’s personal business, true or not, and especially when they discuss those they consider close to them. It may feel like it’s no big deal, but this habit of theirs is very contagious. You cannot keep this type of vibe around you and expect to be productive because you will start caring about the wrong things. Don't let your priorities be influenced by these types of people. This is something you would think is obvious, but many keep friends around like this and figure that it’s a natural thing when it is indeed toxic.



The Moochers: We all know at least one person who will mooch off of everything you have going for you. This can be academically (they study with you, but really only study off of you), financially (they're always going to "pay you right back"), spiritually/mentally (draining you with their venting of emotions, but won’t care to hear yours). These type of relationships are totally one sided. If you're the only one contributing to your friendship or significant other then you have to consider the fact that they may be a leech in a sense. You need people around who match your effort.  One sided friendships and acquaintances tend to be very draining, and being used to this may cloud your judgement to seeing that it is. Any person that’s taking away from your psyche more than adding is not worth it because it will affect your school life. Guaranteed.



The Negative-Nancy’s: This is probably one of the most crucial things to phase out of your atmosphere. People who are constantly negative and giving off terrible energy are a MUST to stay clear of. You will begin to pick up and become this energy if you’re always around it. There are too many great things happening, in college and in life, for someone to turn any and every situation into a bad one. The worst experiences could bring some of the biggest triumphs and successes in life, it's all about perspective! Keep those close who look at everything as a opportunity to grow, rather than those debbie-downers who turn everything into a "why me".


Keep in mind not to listen to those who say and think that if you have a strong mind and are not "easily influenced” that bad energy won’t influence your college experience. This is a total myth because you are who you hang out with. The people you associate with are a representation of you and you want that to be a good one. You will want to believe you are too independent to imitate the behaviors of those around you, but naturally, humans mirror actions, big or small. Be sure to remember these words of advice when you’re choosing who to spend time with, or when you're evaluating who you spend time with because the company you keep in college IS important.