The truth about finding friends

Sarah Harris

You come to a new place where you don’t know anyone, and you’re forced out of your comfort zone. Most of us go from middle school all the way to high school with the same friends. I went from pre-k to senior year with the same friend group. Making friends wasn’t a huge concern of mine coming into college, but it was definitely a challenge once I got here.

One thing no one told me about college is how the friends you make in the beginning of freshman year will probably change. Another thing no one ever told me is how your friend group will be different every year. You might have the same friend group at the core, but some will leave and some will be added on, or you might have entirely new friends. I met my current best friends during freshman, sophomore and junior years. So here’s my take on making friends throughout college.

Freshman year: during the first few weeks of freshman year, everyone becomes best friends with the first people they meet. They latch onto each other the same way little kids hold onto their binkies, clasping as tight as they can onto the first people they have any sort of connection with. Some advice: it’s okay to let go of the people who aren’t adding anything positive to your life. And it’s okay if you think they have a negative impact on your life. You shouldn’t have found your niche yet at this point of the year. You haven’t nearly explored the people at school enough if you have. And don’t worry, you will find your “squad.” It just takes time.

Sophomore year: this is the year you live with the group of friends you made last year. Then you realize the goods and bads of everyone. When you live with friends, you learn a lot about them. My suggestion with this year is, if these people are negatively impacting your life, change your group of friends. If you’re worried that everyone already has a group of friends and you won’t be able to establish new friendships, you’re wrong. Not everyone with friends has the attitude, “I’m done making friends and I’m content with who I hang out with.” Meeting new people is exciting for everyone and you’d be surprised at how many people are in the same situation. Another piece of advice; when you let people’s annoying habits bother you rather than accepting them, you will ruin your friendship. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has his or her annoying habits. Even YOU have annoying habits. But just like you hope others would accept you for who you are, you should also accept others for who they are, bad habits and all. But when your friendship becomes more toxic than it is beneficial, you should cut ties. It’s scary, I know. But you should have the mentality of letting that time you had together be great, and have only happy memories, rather than forcing something to happen that isn’t meant to be.

Junior year: this year you’re living with new people or old people, but this is the year you realize that you have different friend groups. You get to hang out with different people depending on your mood or what you’re doing. This is a great opportunity to mix your friend groups together and share the friendship love bug. It’s nice being able to intermingle with other groups and watching people from different groups establish bonds.

Senior year: Well, I’m a current senior so I’ll have to get back to you at the end of the year. But my take on it now: have as much fun as you can with your friends because you’ll never be in the situation where you are living so close to so many people you can rely on. Unfortunately real life is calling, and we’re going to have to answer and go separate ways. So enjoy it while it lasts. Say yes a little more when you’re feeling tired, and put your phone down a little less and enjoy the people around you.