The Truth About Freshman Year Friendships

Freshman year of college is a time like no other. Everyone’s experience looks different, yet we all go through the same things. Here at Her Campus, there are things we wish people had told us about freshman year, specifically about the truth and magic of those freshman friendships.

Let this be advice, encouragement or something you send to your freshman year best friends to remind them that you love them.

The truth is, freshman year, people don’t really like to talk about how they’re actually feeling. People lie and claim that life in their new college town is perfect and everything they ever wanted with no unexpected challenges. According to their very misleading social media accounts, they’re “thriving.” If you don’t feel like you fall in this category, PLEASE, let me be the one to assure you that you’re not alone.

"How do I make friends again?" For many people, you’ve been going to school with the same people for as long as you can remember. If you weren’t friends with them, you at least said “hi” in the hallway and followed them on Instagram. The first time you step on a college campus, the feeling of anonymity can be overwhelming. Let’s be honest, everyone wants to be known. Walking around in a sea of unrecognizable faces feels foreign and isolating. But let me tell you, there is hope. And that hope is found in the people that come in your life, when you least expect it, and love you for just being who you are.

To make up for all the times that we don’t exactly tell the truth about freshman year, here are some truths:

The truth is: you are not defined by the number of friends you have. Ever. Find your worth in something good and constant.

The truth is: you have to be patient. You will find your people, but sometimes it takes time. They’re worth the wait, and so are you.

The truth is: your roommate will not always be your favorite person. Sometimes they might be a bit of a monster. That’s okay. Escape the cinder block walls of your shoe box-sized room and see the light on the other side. Girls in the hall are nice, and they want to talk to you. They might end up being some of your best friends.

The truth is: it’s easy to make friends in your classes, and it’s totally not weird to introduce yourself to the stranger in the seat next to you in the lecture hall. Ask them about the homework you procrastinated on, the book you were supposed to read for class or the stickers on their laptop. Maybe you watch the same tv shows, stan the same Youtubers or listen to the same music. Maybe you have the same sense of humor when it comes to vines and memes, and is there really a deeper connection than that?

The truth is: You have to be yourself to find people you want to be friends with. Your personality attracts the kind of people that you will get along best with, but you can’t meet those people, if you're not being you. It can be easy to lose yourself in the transition of college. It can be difficult to know how to define yourself without the things you did and knew in high school. Find yourself again. Pick her back up again and confidently embrace the version of yourself that you love. Then, be bold, be yourself and love on people, and the rest will fall into place.  

The truth is: Sometimes you just know. When you learn someone’s story, see a picture of their dog, watch hallmark movies in your dorm instead of going to that party or go shopping at Target, and they don’t judge you for buying a bunch of stuff you totally don’t need… that’s when you know. Some people believe in divine intervention- I know I do. In those moments with those people, you just feel it.

The truth is: The friendships you make freshman year are pure magic. The connections are deep, and the love is strong. The memories are hilarious, strange and silly. The times when you look around and can’t help but think that this is exactly where you’re supposed to be; they’re plentiful. The photoshoots are endless, and the inside jokes never stop forming. And then there’s this perfect contentment that comes in the moments in between: sitting in their room, squished on their little futon, doing homework and just being in their company. You realize that you’re comfortable, and you haven’t felt that in a long time, and you’re grateful. That’s magic.

The truth is: We can’t wait for you to find them. You are loved, and there are people out there who can’t wait to be your friends, whether they know it or not.

If you can relate to the words found in this article, we are so happy for you. If adjusting to college has been a breeze, and you have more friends than you know what to do with, we celebrate that for you. But in case you’re in that very real and silent majority of people who are too afraid to speak up about the struggle of finding these friendships, we wanted to be that little voice of encouragement.

Soon enough, you’ll have those friends who make campus feel a little bit more like home. You’ll have people to watch chick flicks with on the weekends, go on late night trips for donuts, share clothes with when you just can’t find the right outfit in your own closet and sit with at the dining hall. You'll have people who ask you about how your test went and cry with you, if it didn’t go so well and just live this exciting, scary and always-changing new college life with. Go find them.