Making friends can be hard. It's scary meeting someone new and thinking that they're so cool, but you're not cool enough for them. There's also a fear that you just won't be compatible friends. But there's only one way to know: try. It's easier to go through life with a friend, and if this is you:
you are soooo wrong. You can always use more friends, trust me.
These are the five levels to the game of friendship and how to unlock them.
Level 1 of friendship isn't a real friendship. This is someone who you might know from class, an organization you belong to, or maybe a friend of a friend. Your only exchange is small talk. But have no fear! If you go out of your way to say "Hi" and to ask how they're day is, or vice versa, then leveling up is possible!
The easiest way to level up is to do homework from your class together. Study groups are how I made most of my friends that I know now. If you know them from a club on campus, grab coffee before the meeting with them, or dinner afterwards. If it's a friend of a friend, ask your friend to invite them more often. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
2. Hanging out in a group
This level is super easy to pass because you have a team to help you out. All you have to do is be yourself and have fun!
This might be super cheesy advise, but it's true. And once you do this you can start creating inside jokes and moving up to Level 3.
It may not always be memes. It could be inside jokes. It could just be any kind of humor. But there has to be humor in this stage. It's a simple level, but an important one. It means there's a level of trust in your friendship. Having this trust will unlock the Level 4 for you and your new friend.
4. Running errands
Some of my closest bonds have been formed by trips to Target and Trader Joe's. There's something about buying your everyday necessities with someone else that really bonds people. In the early weeks of our friendship, I encouraged my now best friend to use the same deoderant as me, and she always helped me pick out all of my meals for the week. Now we're inseparable. Once you have this type of bond, where you know the simplest of things about each other that no one ever even thinks about, you can advance to the final level.
5. ~Emotions and things~
The final battle: opening up. This is the last level for a reason. You have to be willing to be vulnerable and understanding. You have to be present and ready to listen to your friend, but also willing to share your own stories from your deep dark past. Once you get to this level with a friend, you will have an unbreakable bond with someone who just wants to see you be happy and successful and who loves you even when you might not be.
You have to keep in mind that in some friendships, you may gets stuck on one level and never move ahead, and that's okay. Don't force a friendship that isn't there. Just keep trying and you will eventually find someone who helps you get to Level 5.