Throughout your first year of college, you find yourself with friends who you ten times closer to than your friends in high school. And of course, you love your hometown friends to the death, but you’ve come to realize how much your relationship with your college friends has developed from all the time you guys have spent together.
From having at least two meals a day together, studying for countless hours together, and distracting each other endlessly throughout those study sessions, you can learn more than you ever expected from your college friends. I know I have.
When it comes to academics, your college friends motivate you to do better. Even though grades mattered when you were in high school, they never mattered as much as they do now. And sometimes it’s difficult to focus on them with your parents not being over your shoulder every 30 seconds. For me, my college friends have been some of my biggest supporters.
They’re around me every day, saying how much they believe in me through all the work that I do in school and all the stress that surrounds us. This belief is what keeps me going throughout my day. Having friends that truly believe in you make you want to own up to that belief and make them proud, and all in all, your college friends can be the wants that get you to make yourself proud of you too.
Throughout all the discussions you have with your college friends, you just find yourself wanting to learn more. When I personally got to college, I was interested in getting much more involved in the political aspects of our society.
Why? Because my college friends influenced me. All the different political rants held within my friend group encouraged me to gain more insight on the world around me and to understand the basis of those rants as well. Even though some of this is me wanting to be a part of the group, it's mainly just me wanting to be a part of a global conversation.
I consider myself lucky for to have found friends who don’t judge my decisions. Of course, my hometown friends didn’t judge me. They knew me for many years and loved me regardless of what I did.
As for my college friends, I’ve known them for about a year and a half. But so far I know that not a single one of them would judge me for anything, which is why it feels so easy to just open my heart out to all of them. This alone has encouraged me to embrace my embarrassing moments and that there is no need in sugarcoating the reality of those moments.
More than anything, my friends in college have taught me how to branch out. They’ve shown me how easily a friend group can expand over time, which I’ve seen quite clearly as my friend group currently consists of nine people. In high school, everyone had their own cliques or groups of people they connected with.
And sure, even though I may have a core group in college, I’ve found so many people who I love that are outside of it. With a not too big and not too small campus like Ithaca, you encourage yourself to meet more people. And these people will make you want to befriend even more people as the years go on.
The friends that I’ve found in college mean more to me than I’ve ever imagined. And sure, I may be closer to some than others, but they’ve still become the people who I see every day and who I lean on. When you're around your college friends so much, you can see the best in them, and that best of them is a best that you hope to see in yourself one day, which shows just how inspiring these friends can be.
One of my friends said to be the other day, “One thing that I know for sure is that I would consider us one close family,” and when I heard her say that, I couldn’t help but think about how accurate of a statement that was. Then I realized just how much I talked to my college friends like I talk to my best friends and family back home. To the college friends who have made me want to be a better person and who are the primary reason why this college feels like home, I love you and thank you.