Choosing Your BEST Friends Wisely
“I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.” -Plutarch
It is widely understood that lifelong friendships are often formed in college.
For many, college means packing up and leaving all that is familiar, and venturing off into the unknown to begin anew. It’s a brave act to go at it alone, but it leaves them wide open for opportunities in friendship. Lots of opportunity.
Others choose to take a friend or two to come along for the ride. These college goers are open, but I would argue that they’re not quite as open as those who fly solo.
Why? I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it. You feel a certain loyalty to who you come with. You have a preexisting side kick, and to others you may not appear accessible. You really don’t have the same need as the solo’ers to find a partner in crime, or should we say a little college mischief? Ok. None of the above. More like a confidante, a support system, a library buddy, a 2AM crisis kind of friend.
Either way, the point is this: BE OPEN.
Whether you’re flying solo, or you arrive with a built-in be open to new relationships.
I learned so much in college. One of those things is how different people really are. I attended an HBCU. I’d come from a small town where my school’s populations had been mostly white. Most of the black kids I associated with back home were very similar. We all came from the same place and shared like views based on our experiences.
Upon my initial phase as a college freshman, I was a bit culture shocked by the diversity within the student body. We were a bunch of black kids, but we were so different. All of us. That was when I truly began to comprehend and embrace the notion of culture and background. It had very little to do with skin color or race. It was much more, and it was beautiful thing.
I was intrigued to know more about people as individuals; not by their associations.
The whole friend circle thing is so overrated. Why be limited to a certain group of people? If everyone in your circle is the same as you, what are you learning? And how are you growing? Think bigger. Don’t exist within a circle of identical ideas. Explore, ask questions, and gain something from the rich experience of being immersed in a sea of cultures, experiences, and backgrounds.
Most of what you learn in college is not found in the expensive text books. Most of it is free. All you have to do is make yourself available.
Have no expectations, and be your most authentic self one-hundred percent of the time. Allow your network of people and resources to be expansive and illimitable. Keep in mind that it’s not always about what you know; but who you know. Get to know as many people as you can. Don’t fall victim to the untruth that you don’t need anyone. You do need someone. Lots of someone’s.
Does that mean they will all become lifelong friends? Absolutely not. Life evolves in seasons, and friends are a part of those changing times. Some will stay, others will go. AND ALL OF IT IS OKAY… It’s one of the most natural things in life.
Enjoy each relationship and gain all you can from it in its season. Once it’s over, don’t just hold on for the sake of holding on. True friendships will not call for that.
Allow life to work on your behalf. Receive all the things it has to offer. Don’t be close minded and miss the lessons. Don’t miss the richness of experience. LIVE this thing. Live it. And take some amazing people along with you.
Eventually, your lifelong friends will be revealed, because those types stick around in and out of season.
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