College is a weird paradox. You're supposed to be involved and make friends, but you're also supposed to be an individual and find ways to break out of the herd.
So how do you make relationships while being your own person?
Some people naturally find themselves doing things on their own. Others lean on people and find their opportunities through others. Newsflash: there's no "right" way to do college. There are so many success stories around and each person involved took a very different path to get where they are.
As a freshman, you want to be involved as much as possible. You want to constantly be around people because you want to find those friends who will be there for you for the rest of your life. Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn't. It's hard to stand out because you may not know what you're doing. Sometimes as a freshman just fitting in is enough to get you friends and get you by.
Sophomore year you're working on maintaining what you have while looking at your upperclassman years. You're still in the herd with the others but you're trying to find opportunities that will separate you in the years to come. It's conflicting because you realize that maybe you don't want to do everything your friends want and vice versa.
Junior year is when you start doing everything to try to define yourself. This is the last year before you start applying for graduate school, or jobs, or anything you're doing after college. You're making plans and marketing yourself. This process makes you search for opportunities that make you stand out from the crowd. It's where that herd mentality breaks a little as you follow what you want to do.
Seniors revert back to the herd a little. Yes, you're figuring out the rest of your life, but you also want to enjoy the time you have with the people you love as much as possible. It's different from freshman year in that you're all more individualized by this point, but you also all realize the relationships that have gotten you this far. It's an easier balance of the paradox because you know you can be in the group while still being your own person.
There are so many ways to do college. You can follow the "traditional" four-year path, you can cut your years, or you can even realize that you may need more time than you originally thought.
The best part of school is that everything you do is up to you. You can choose your major, your classes, your job, and all your activities. When you start you have all these options just on the campus you chose to go to. The added bonus is the people you'll find along the way.
So take advantage of what you can, figure yourself out, and create your own story.