Friendships in College

How To Navigate Friendships In College

"Why can't we be friends?"

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Who doesn't love their friends? They make life more fun, they make the mundane days extraordinary, and they are always there to cheer us up. However, among juggling classes, club meetings, and extracurriculars in college, it can be tough to maintain good relationships with your friends and make time to hang out with each other. On top of that, going to a university with thousands of people makes it even harder to see your friends on a regular basis. So, here's some advice and things to remember while navigating your friendships in college.

1. Not everyone that you meet right away will remain your friend, and that's totally normal

When I got to college I met hundreds of different people within the first couple of days. Some people I really clicked with and enjoyed being around. However, with busy schedules, our differing residential buildings, and opposite interests, many of the people that I met at the beginning, I hardly saw and therefore were not the people that I would become close to. On the bright side, now I know lots of familiar faces and have acquaintances in almost all of my classes, which is really comforting.

2. You might grow apart from some friends and that's ok

Going to a giant university means that sometimes you are close to certain people then all of a sudden your schedules change and you don't see each other anymore. Or you join different clubs and make stronger relationships there. This is totally ok! College is a time to branch out and meet new people. Even though you and your friends might not see each other as often as you did, you can look back and appreciate the good times that you had. Learn to be content with having friends even if it's only for a short season in your life. They were meant to be there for a reason.

3. Be open to unexpected friendships

In my case, I made lots of friends through happenstance. These are the best because you will always have good memories of how you met. Always be ready to make new friends and seek to broaden your horizons, you never know what great relationships are ahead of you.

4. Be intentional about keeping in touch and meeting up with people

This is so important! At a big college, it's so easy to get caught up in school work, and other activities that you can lose sight of your friends. So please be intentional with checking up on your friends, making the time to get dinner, or hang out. Cultivating strong relationships is one of the key things to surviving the stressful college life. Stand by each other and show each other that you care.

5. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and be the first to suggest hanging out

Many times, I wanted the other person to reach out to me and ask to hang out because I was worried about bothering them or being rejected. More often than not the other person is thinking this exact same thing! So, break the ice and put yourself out there! You have nothing to lose and a possibly great relationship to gain!

Friends are the BEST part about college! You have the unique chance to meet people from all over the world, with different backgrounds, and experiences. So just keep an open mind and be yourself!

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20 Phrases All Roommates Say To Each Other

Some common phrases all roommates have said to each other at some point.
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1. Do I have to go to class?

2. When do you have class today?

3. Want to get lunch before your next class?

4. Do you think I need to wash my hair? I can’t tell if it’s greasy.

5. What’s the weather? I don’t know what to wear.

6. Are you going out tonight?

7. What should I wear tonight?

8. Can I borrow a shirt?

9. We have to watch *insert Netflix show here*.

10. Want to order in dinner tonight?

11. We have to take a cute picture tonight so I can Instagram.

12. Is this a good caption for my Instagram? How’s the edit?

13. Ok I instagrammed … go like and comment.

14. We should probably clean our room soon.

15. Can I borrow your *insert random item here*

16. I’m so hungry.

17. I think it’s time to do our laundry.

18. I’m going to start eating healthy and go to the gym more.

19. The dining hall menu is so bad today.

20. Thanks for being my best friend.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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To My First Best Friend Who I Lost Because I Was Foolish

We all make mistakes, but losing you was the one I wish I never made.

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When we met, we were young. Two twelve-year-old girls with little to no life experience, naive and waiting for the world to come at us with all that it had.

We bonded quickly over anything and everything (whatever that could have been at this age) and became inseparable soon enough. Hours spent talking on the phone about which PBS cartoon was the best or what kind of boys were our "type" strengthened our blooming friendship and, for once, I felt like I finally had someone I could call my best friend.

I told you everything. I told you about my family and why I don't talk to certain members, and you told me about your family and why you don't know certain members. We trusted each other with our deepest and darkest secrets, we found solace in each other when it got hard to speak and we comforted each other when memories triggered emotions that were beyond our capabilities to handle.

As the months passed by, you became a bigger part of my life little by little. I remember a time where I couldn't have pictured going a day without talking to each other, and it seems like a lifetime ago when we would wake up early in the morning and immediately get on the phone after going to sleep late the night before.

I never wanted to believe that friendships don't last forever, despite what I had always heard. I wanted us to be different; I wanted us to be the exception that everyone could look at and say, "those are real best friends."

But I never took into consideration that sometimes, friendships don't last because one of the parties f**** it up.

We could talk in circles about what happened between us (we probably have) and we'd still end up at the same conclusion: It was me. And, at the end of the day, I think I always knew that I was the detrimental factor in our ultimate demise.

I did what every girl swears they will never do, what every girl says is the absolute worst thing to do: I chose my boyfriend over our friendship, and it's my biggest regret.

It's not that I meant to. I never thought I would even be capable of choosing anyone over you. We were unstoppable and I always believed I could never find anyone to be more important in my life than you, my best friend.

But, when you're "young and in love" (or blinded by what you think is love) you make stupid decisions without thinking of the consequences that will surely come.

I can't remember exactly what the situation was, or maybe I can and I just don't see a point in hashing it out for the millionth time because it only reminds me of what I wish I could change. Regardless, I don't think the details matter when the end result is what changed our lives forever.

The truth is, I don't really know how your life was after the fact. I know that I had a relationship that I dreaded, friends that I probably took for granted, and family that I didn't thank enough. But I never asked what got you through my absence, if my absence hurt as much to you as it did to me, or when you realized that you didn't need me anymore as much as you thought you did.

Maybe I didn't need to know, and maybe I still don't, it's just interesting to see how self-centered I was.

I've grown up a lot since then. I've dealt with some of the hardest things I would never wish upon anyone, I've come to see who I am and who I'm meant to be, and I've acknowledged and accepted my faults and mistakes a thousand times over.

I know I apologized to you more times than you can count, but I know that I'll never be able to say sorry enough. You were my better half, my lifeline, my best friend, and I kick myself every day for throwing it away like it meant nothing when it was everything.

We've moved past it together as much as we can, and we're now able to look back and chalk it up to "silly teenage girl things," but it doesn't mean that it can be erased. Our friendship exists now, but I can't help but wonder what it could have been if nothing would have happened.

2007 is a long time ago, twelve years since we met to be exact. We're both going to be twenty-four this year (you already are, I still have a month to go) and it would have been a friendship for the record books if we had made it this far.

Maybe our weddings would have been planned together. Maybe we would have been each other's maids of honor, and maybe we would have each planned kickass bachelorette parties that would never have been forgotten.

I know I don't want to have kids, but maybe in another world we could have been pregnant at the same time. Our kids could have been born with a best friend already chosen, one that would love and support them the same way that we would have done for each other. And though a lot of kids hate being thrown into friendships with their parents' kids, maybe ours would have been the exception.

I don't know what would have been, and I could go on forever with the "maybes" and the "what ifs" but it doesn't change the fact that they're all simply wishes and dreams, those that were lost the moment I turned my back on a friendship that was always there when I needed it.

You and me, we've found our homes in new people. We've formed bonds, made connections and surrounded ourselves with those who love us, and I think that's great and it's how it should be.

Still, I wish we could be for each other what we once were, what we should have been.

I made mistakes and I walked away from a friendship that was everything I needed it to be, and there's not a day that goes by in which I don't regret it.

And even though life goes on and we had to find a way to go along with it, I wouldn't mind going back and choosing differently. Because I know now that friendships as important and as pure as the one we had should always come first.

Always.

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