My Advice for Having Friends in College

I’m one of those people who likes being on her own, but also has a horrible tendency to become super attached to people way too quickly. In high school, I didn’t have my own car, so I visited my friends outside of school on the weekends and we would either go out to dinner, or have a sleepover, and that was that. It was almost unheard of to have a sleepover on a week night because of the risk of staying up too late when you had to be at school the next day. In college, dorm life is a total game changer. You can see whoever you want, whenever you, and for however long you want. This is both amazing and horrible at the same time.

In high school, I never was into really big groups of friends. I had multiple small groups, and then, I always had one person who I would consider my best friend. We would do everything together, everyone knew us as best friends because you never saw us apart. This was totally fine in high school because classes and different schedules kept you apart most of the time and you really had to find time to hang out with each other. College was different though because I could go hang out with friends during my free time. I utilize this time with friends quite frequently, especially given that my best friend lives directly above me, in the same dorm, and I could make it up there in a good 10 seconds, if I sprinted. I was so excited because I had found my small group of friends from the soccer team, and I had also made two really close friends whom I would consider my best friends.

However, me being me, was horrible at distributing my time and found myself designating a significant amount of my time to one friend. During the first year of school, I didn’t notice anything wrong with what I was doing, I was just hanging out with my friend. Little did I know, I was slowly losing my independence as I attached myself to one person and began to define myself around them. I almost didn’t do anything without her. This ended up with me pushing away some of my closest friends. I didn’t realize this until two of my relationships with other friends were strained and they didn’t want to spend time with me because I was becoming more like my friend and less like me. The moral to this story is that in college, do not limit yourself to just one friend! There are so many great people that you are going to meet, and some that you will miss out on because you have your head too far up someone else’s butt (this is how I would describe my situation at least). Over the last semester, I have found myself expanding my friend group. Instead of limiting myself to one best friend, I have found it nice to also have a few really good friends who I can rely on and enjoy my time with without. I know this isn’t going to be the cases for every person, and I’m not saying you can’t have a best friend, but what I am saying is that it is healthy (and highly recommended) to have other good friends and not cut them out.

This also is beneficial for helping you become an independent person. I became so dependent on my friend that I had to tell her everything and couldn’t do anything without her, and after I started doing things for myself, I actually got complimented on how I seemed more independent this year. That was one of the best compliments I had received because I felt like I was maturing and finally starting to find myself. I do think you need certain friends to learn from and help you find who you are, but you can’t let yourself get caught up and end up trying to become them. Once you take a step back from a relationship and do some self-reflection, you can sometimes see you have lost a bit of who you are. This is both good and bad. You may adopt some of your friend’s great qualities, some that help you improve yourself, but you may also inherit some qualities that just aren’t you. It’s helpful to realize that you are not the same person and are allowed to have differing interests and mindsets.

And while I’m talking about being too attached to friends, in my limited and failed experience with boys, the same goes for them. Don’t become too attached too quickly! When you do this you allow yourself to become too involved in someone who is likely not going be reciprocating the same feelings that quickly. The best thing to do is get to know them and don’t let yourself get carried away. That’s just my two cents for the day, take and do with it what you please!

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