Surving College: Stop Being Chosen, and Choose Your Friends

    Throughout high school, maturity levels increase impeccably. The one thing that I took away from high school was that I don’t have to be friends with people I do not like. Just because I saw them every day, they were in my classes, and I grew up with them, doesn’t mean I actually have to be their friend. I got used to the pattern of being around the same people knowing that I truly dislike them. It got to a point where I was unhappy because I didn’t feel like myself. I put on a fake smile and laugh to make it seem as if I enjoyed the time I spent with them. It finally got to the point where I couldn’t do it anymore. I had to tell them that being “friends” with them just wasn’t what I wanted anymore and I honestly didn’t like them. I told them that we were all about to be adults and it is no reason for us to pretend to like being around each other when we don’t. I said my goodbyes and NEVER looked back.

Saying it that way may have been a little harsh, but it was how I felt. I’ve met many people who are probably good for others, but not for me. Being able to discern who YOU want to spend your time with, who YOU want to share advice with, or who YOU think will be genuine will make your list of prospective friends get cut very short. People show you their true colors, so when they do, be observant and don’t make excuses. Don’t be the person who sticks around because you want to give them one more chance. “Maybe she’s having a bad day”, “She’s on her period”, “She doesn’t talk behind my back, just theirs”. Once you see the signs that a person is not a true friend and has shady tendencies, don’t keep sticking around waiting for them to show you a change.

When I came to Hampton, I vowed to myself that I would never hang out with people I didn’t like unless I had to (group projects, organizations, etc). And ever since then, I literally have had only 1 friend. Everyone else is associates. Even though it’s always just the 2 of us, the time spent together and the memories made are genuine and unforgettable. That’s because we chose each other. We chose to be friends with the other because we enjoyed each other's company and we enjoyed each other's personalities.

It’s completely fine to have a small circle of friends, but just because it’s small doesn’t mean they are the company you have to keep. Your circle of friends is supposed to be your outlets, diary, entertainment, support, and motivation. Realizing the difference between friends who are for you and associates who aren’t, is essential in college. My dad always told me to choose my friends, don’t let them choose me. I never really understood what he meant until I got to college. Be around people who uplift you, make you laugh,  have positive attitudes, and strives for greatness. If you have people in your circle that you have to try to like, it’s time for you let them go. Friendships should not take so much energy that you feel drained. If it does, you need to say your goodbyes, wish them well, and keep it pushing. Choosing your friends will put you in control of your experience.