Going into my senior year of college I thought that I had it all figured out. I knew what I needed to do after graduation, I had the perfect relationship (still do), and my best friends and I had the year of the century planned. Slowly, things started falling apart. I couldn’t decide what graduate program to attend, I was swamped with research, and my friends that I’ve had since freshman year decided to fade away. At the beginning of the year I did not want to try making new friends. As the year went on, I realized that was a silly way of thinking. The new friends that I have made this year have helped me with the tough decisions of choosing a graduate school, realizing what friendships to leave behind, and have given me countless experiences that I would have never gotten if I would have stuck with my “no new friends” way of thinking.
Making new friends isn’t as hard as you think. Follow these five steps for nurturing a new and healthy friendship!
1. Be yourself
Hearing the phrase “be yourself” probably gets tiring, but it’s true. If you aren’t showing your “true colors” then your forming a bond with someone for the wrong reason! Do you think they’re going to think you’re weird for being a neat freak? Doesn’t matter. A true friend will accept you for each part of you.
I realized that I really value friends that listen to what you say. What a good feeling it is to have someone remember that you have a tough exam on Wednesday and they wish you good luck. If you’re a good listener chances are it’ll be noticed and reciprocated.
3. Don’t tell your backstory to every single person
By college, everyone has a story. No matter what the story is, you never need to give anyone a detailed history of your life. Sure there will be times where opening up about your past is important, but you definitely don’t have to. It’s best to focus on the “right now” because that is what matters!
4. Be positive
Being a positive person is contagious. No matter if it’s stopping to talk to someone for five minutes to ask how their day was or sending them a congratulatory text message after their game, your positivity doesn’t go unnoticed. Be the type of friend that is always there no matter how crappy life may get.
5. Treat others the way you want to be treated
It’s the golden rule for a reason. There’s no point in being mean to someone, so don’t bother. Chances are, if you have to say things that are rude, the friendship probably isn’t worth your time. This could even be something simple like borrowing clothes. If you don’t want your friend to borrow your clothes, you probably shouldn’t ask to borrow theirs either.
Now get out there and make a new friend!