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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Tampa chapter.

They always say you will meet your lifelong friends in college or that your freshman roommate will go on to be the maid of honor in your wedding years down the road.  I’m here to tell you it is okay not to feel like you met those people while in college.

I am a senior graduating in less than a month, and I don’t necessarily feel like I’m going to be leaving college with an extensively long friend list.  Of course, I have met so many people that I love during my four years – if you’re my friend reading this, know I love and cherish you – but I don’t know if I met that lifelong friend or maid of honor.  My college experience has been rather unconventional.  I started off at a small religious university in the Midwest for a year; however, I knew I wasn’t going to stay there long, so I did not prioritize making friends. I found one good person and clung to them for dear life. Second semester of freshman year, I decided to go online while I began the transfer process. Thus, I didn’t really have friends unless you count my dog and cat.

During my sophomore year, I got to the University of Tampa and began to break out of my shell a bit more.  I met some amazing people that year and definitely felt like I had a few close best friends.  Then, I studied abroad across the globe.  While I was backpacking through Europe, my close relationships in Tampa were starting to fall apart with every second I was in airplane mode (I refused to pay for an international plan, and some of my friends refused to download WhatsApp, so communication was impossible.) When I got back to Tampa, it felt like I was starting relationships over again, and some did not survive the 6-month hiatus, which took me a very long time to grapple with.  But while one door closes, another opens, and that is what senior year taught me.

Senior year brought me so many new friendships and connections, and I wish I could’ve met these amazing people years ago.  I want other college students to understand that just because you think you haven’t found your group yet, honestly, no one has! Friendships take time to flourish, so don’t put so much pressure on yourself to find your BFF right away.  

My recommendation for making lasting friendships is to join organizations on campus that relate to your major.  This has been super helpful for me as I can make friends with a small group of people who share the same interests as me, whom I see frequently already for classes.  I’d also recommend getting involved in off-campus organizations if you can.  Getting off-campus means you can meet people who are likely out of all the cliques and social circles of a smaller campus and bring about even more opportunities for connections that you wouldn’t have otherwise met.  My last piece of advice is to give yourself time! Lasting friendships can’t be built in a day, week, or even semester, so cut yourself a break and be your best friend first.

Bianca Gallo is an Editor and Writer at the University of Tampa’s chapter of Her Campus. She enjoys writing about lifestyle and culture topics, mainly focusing on travel. Bianca is a senior journalism major at the University of Tampa where she also regularly writes for the school newspaper, The Minaret. She also studied media and professional communications at Edinburgh Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland. When she is not writing, Bianca enjoys trying new coffee shops, binging reality T.V, and checking off her travel bucket list. Her favorite travel destination so far is Budapest, Hungary.