Looking back on my first year of college, I realized that I had made some awesome friends – but some not-so-good ones, too. At the beginning of my freshman year, I pulled the typical newbie move of "let me cling on to every single person I know because I know no one else." However, some of the people I met during this year were people (I soon came to realize) that I had little in common with. We were simply friends because the other was "there." The problem with this? These weren't people that I really clicked with or people that represented me and my values. Some people aren't made to be best friends, and that is okay. I got a big reality check, and went through the rest of the year making friends with people in my sorority, dorm, and classes.
One of the most important things in college is making great friends. Your college friends are with you through your hardest, challenging, and most formative times. With all the potential friends "available" on campus, finding them isn't hard. Finding real, true, and meaningful friendships is harder, though. I truly believe that your friends are a reflection of yourself – so it was important to me to find some awesome people to spend my college years with.
Most, if not all, friends have something in common. This could be almost anything: a passion for the same TV show, going out and partying together on the weekends, a love for nature… something. No matter how small or insignificant, there’s something that binds friends together. However, when you are meeting a bunch of different people (and essentially trying to decide if you want to be friends or not), finding at least one thing in common isn’t hard. "Oh, you watch "Friends" too?! I’m obsessed with that show!" "OMG NO WAY WHAT A COINCIDENCE!"
(Image via Tumblr).
However, it is important to remember that friendships go far beyond a love for the same 90’s sitcom (no matter how funny it may be). If your morals, values, and beliefs don’t line up – it may be time to reconsider. For example, if you’re a person devoted to your job and schoolwork, but you end up being friends with someone who pulls straight D’s and can out-drink the biggest fratstar on campus, there might be a problem. Sure, this person is fun, spontaneous, etc, but these values are going to collide at some point. It is very, very challenging to be friends with people who do not value the same things as you. Likewise, if you like to go out and have fun every week, you and the school-devotee aren’t going to make it very far in your friendship if the only thing that you have in common is a love for Netflix.
It’s perfectly awesome to have a diverse set of friends, but I think that your closer friends should be chosen more carefully. You are who you surround yourself with – in this case, your close friends. These are the people who you spend most of your time with, people who help influence you, and people who you are seen out and about with. Why would you want to be friends with people who do not reflect the kind of person you are and strive to be? If you are aware that you surround yourself with some real **winners**, chances are that other people have noticed, too. And that doesn't look good. There’s a great quote from Proverbs 13:20 that I really like: “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
Friendship is all about growth and learning experiences together. Your friends should be people who push you to do your absolute greatest. These are the people that you triumph and struggle with. Why spend your time with people who don’t promote that “growing?”
Finding friends and people who you can become close with is a tough experience. There’s the awkwardness, finding that one thing in common, the possible “Oh, I don’t know if I really like you all that much anymore...” BUT there is the possibility for something great. It is a long difficult road, but you are ultimately better off in the end knowing that you chose great friends who reflect your goals, dreams, and values. Being surrounded by like-minded people will only bring you higher.