By Zaria Hardy
I know, I know, you have heard it a million times, the friends you make in college are for life, but it is the truth. The friends you make in college make the experience. Friends are great allies you have in your life who realize how odd you can be, and still like you. Companions are the embodiment of our young lives, sometimes different versions of ourselves, and encompass the vast majority of our fondest memories. Most importantly, good friends are there when you need them the most. When your family tells you that friends are forever, this especially applies to college friends.
While college comes with its glitz and glam, it also comes with its challenges. Adapting to a new environment, being away from family, balancing work with play, and the obvious workload are only a few of the problems that can arise . Life is hard, especially college life. It isn’t a process that anyone should have to do alone. Having like minded people around you provides you with support, a safe space, and challenges you in ways you do not necessarily want but may need. So much happens in a college setting that no one could predict. Friends can support you through these times because they probably have experienced something similar and that makes all the difference. Friends are your home away from home.
College friendships are also important for diversifying your network and mindset. Expanding your friend circle puts you in rooms with people whom you may not already have access to. Opportunities present themselves through relationship building. Networking provides individuals with the tools and resources to advance to the next level. Additionally, college friends help to change your existing perspectives and encourage you to form new opinions. Forming intentional companionship with individuals who have similar values can shape the manner in which we see the world and the manner by which we engage in everyday life by influencing our mindset. Friends provide growth opportunities rather be it professionally or personally. Having college friends creates a community of individuals who help you see the lessons in each failure. College friends are a source of encouragement that help take you to the next level.
Additionally, friends are a vital part of life. Having college friends helps with the initial transition into adulthood. In most cases, the friends you make in college are the set of friends you do life with. They have literally seen you at your lowest and highest moments. They walked hand in hand with you while trying new things and figuring out what you do and do not like. I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage “people go to college to find themselves”. Well, finding yourself involves finding friends who enhance and sharpen who you want to be. Friendship is about getting out of your comfort zone and into the world together. Who better to do it with than your college friends?
So, don’t be afraid to shoot your friendship shot. Use the proximity of new and exciting things on the college campus to nurture and create meaningful friendships. There are plenty of opportunities to make friends on college campuses. Attend campus events, join student organizations, or talk to someone you see by themselves. You could even ask your roommate to get coffee with you. All in all, put yourself out there and watch how many worthwhile friendships will form.
Zaria is a first year graduate student (class of 2023) in the Clinical mental health- couples, marriage, and family counseling program. On campus, she is a reviewer for the William and Mary school of education academic journal. One fun fact about her is that she loves thought provoking conversations.