Whether you go to college close to home or far away, you are in a new environment. In an unfamiliar place surrounded by strangers, you meet an array of new characters and try to figure out how to be in college. You are going to find your niche, it's either going to be composed of new friends, some of your old friends, or a mix of both. No matter what group you have, it is important to reflect on who you surround yourself with because it matters.

I know we all have heard the saying if you want to know who somebody is, look at their friends. Although I agree with that, I am pushing this idea a little more, for the simple fact that friends play a large role in our lives. They are the ones we go to have fun, have a shoulder to cry on, have a laugh. Because of the role they play in our lives and the impact they have, it's important that the people you call your friends are actually your friends.

They should care about you.

They should genuinely care about you.

When you are thinking of doing something unwise, they should try to talk you out of it.

They should check on you to see how you're doing for no other reason but that they care.

Your friends should be your biggest cheerleaders. Whether there is a big test coming up, big game or something important, they should be there cheering you on. Friends, real friends want to see you thrive. They should always try to bring you help, instead of putting you down.

I know that friends make fun of each other. And that's fine and completely normal. However, there is a difference between making fun and just being mean and insulting. A friend should never get satisfaction from putting you down or making you feel inferior. If they do, then they are not a friend and those actions only speak to how insecure they are.

Choosing who you surround yourself with is an important decision. The way you want to be treated is the way you should treat others: with kindness and respect.