During this time of the year, post-Halloween to pre-Thanksgiving, it is common to begin thinking about all that we are grateful for. After finishing a year of Zoom school and finally being back on campus again, I have been more than thankful and excited to be able to make in-person connections with others around me. Truthfully, being a transfer student, I did not get to meet a lot of people during the end of my sophomore and junior years of college. Now, as a senior, I am glad to have maintained unlikely connections with people I met over Zoom classes and people I have met this year. Here are the five important friendships you will make and the ones I am the most grateful for.
- RA/Peer Mentor
As a current resident assistant, I do everything I can to maintain professional friendships with my residents. After all, we only live together! When I was a first-year student, I had an amazing RA who was always friendly to me and had conversations with me. I felt comfortable talking to her and wanted to create a community in which residents would feel comfortable with me. As long as everything is professional, there is no problem with speaking to your RA/peer mentor on a more personal level and confiding in them. They also occasionally have floor events that are fun to attend!
- That Girl Who Was in a Class with You Almost Every Semester
I have a good feeling that the friend I am thinking of knows who she is. One of the best pieces of advice I have received is to look for friends in your classes so you can always have someone to study and discuss the class with. Miraculously, even over Zoom, I was able to make a good friend who had three classes with me throughout the fall, spring, and summer semesters. After meeting in person, our friendship feels completely natural and fun!
Another rewarding experience in being a RA is the RA friends you will make. I am beyond lucky to have a staff who all get along and are friendly with one another. Some of my best friends have come from the experience of training and working together. This is not limited to the RA job! There are many different job opportunities on campus where you can make amazing friends.
- People Applying for the Same Opportunities as You
As a senior applying to graduate school, I have met a lot of people who are applying to the same schools and universities as myself. When I was in high school applying to colleges, I saw people in this situation as competition and immediately distanced myself from them. However, now as a more mature college student, I see them as friends. We are all going through the same struggles in the application process and fear of rejection. What is the point of making this process even more difficult? Making friends with your “competition” helps you to build a strong support network, gives you people to go to when you need to vent or help you with your application essays. I am grateful for the people I have met and gotten feedback from in my application processes.
Yes, you guessed it. In fact, I was voted “Teacher’s Pet” in my high school senior superlatives. I used to be really embarrassed by this fact. In college though, professors are some of the best people you will ever meet. They are knowledgeable and care for your success. I have been lucky enough to find a few great professors to help me through the grad school process and complete my senior thesis. Even at times when it can be hard to hear criticism from them, professors are here to help you and always there to help you become the best version of yourself.
College is the best and the worst of times. It is the only period in your life when everything you need is within walking distance — friends, food, jobs, classes, and in some cases your temporary home. Take time to make some of those connections and look for those friends. You will be grateful you did!