The Friend Phenomenon
Good morrow, afternoon, or night to all who have taken it upon themselves to join me today. My ongoing quest to overcome freshman year of college has been filled with many adventures and learning experiences that I have been sharing with you all along the way.
As many of you might know, the Freshman Chronicles is a place in the SPECTRUM where I get free rein to describe my thoughts on different parts of the college experience from a freshman’s perspective.
I cover a new subject in each entry, and the topic I will be discussing in this issue is making friends: the process, tips and tricks, and the importance of friendship.
Before we get started, I think you need to know a bit about my background for you to truly understand my personal experience in making friends.
I don’t know if any of you can relate, but I am from a small town where the biggest source of economic revenue comes from our gas station and small, main street restaurant. Our idea of fun is driving an hour away to Devils Lake, ND, where we walk around Walmart and hit every food chain in the area.
My science teacher was the town chiropractor, and our biggest claims to fame are the school’s local FFA chapter and our girls’ basketball team who placed fifth in the 2013 ND Class B State Tournament.
Most of you might consider around eighty people a small class size, but I graduated in a class of twelve(the largest class in the last six years) that could’ve been fourteen if two of my classmates hadn’t dropped out senior year.
What I’m getting at is that growing up in a small town allowed me to live comfortably having the same friends since kindergarten, and thus, leaving me very unprepared in the sense of creating friendships. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely made some friends throughout the years because of my involvement in extracurriculars, but I haven’t had to form any deep connections that went past asking about their day or complaining about school lunch up until recently.
To say the least, college came as a huge slap to the face when I realized I would actually have to take the time to get to know someone for them to stick around because I could no longer depend on the small-town qualities of convenience and common geographic location.
The gratitude I hold for Welcome Week is overwhelming because if it wasn’t for my Welcome Week Group I, one, would not have been as comfortable with being myself in order to get to know people, and two, wouldn’t have met the singular person I spend a majority of my time with.
The obligatory sessions and meals together seem to have paid off because instead of spending all my time alone in my dorm, I only spend about half of it alone in my dorm.
Now, proceeding to our previously scheduled programming, I am by no means a professional in the department of making friends, but I do have a few tips and tricks that I have learned through my experience that might help you to make those new and true friends; don’t sue me if they end up bringing a lethal dose of embarrassment upon you.
While I provide you with the information needed to become an absolute weapon when it comes to making friends, I’m also going to explain the process which, although it might be one of incredible testing of your abilities to leave your comfort zone, will be worth it in the end.
Firstly, you need to find a person to befriend. I do this by finding the people who laugh at my jokes because not only does that mean they possess the quality of top-tier humor, it means they will be able to feed into my relentless need for comedic validation.
If this doesn’t work out, you could also resort to finding the people who have the most in common with you.
After you have identified this person or people, start getting to know them. Make sure to ask them questions about themselves and their interests because, in my experience, people love talking about themselves.
Getting to know the other person is going to allow you to test out the waters and really pin down if this person is worthwhile to talk to.
The next step I usually take is spilling every thought in my mind and seeing if the test subject sticks around. I have found that this is actually a pretty good method because you’ll be able to weed out the people who won’t be able to handle the absolute chaos of who you are.
If you’d like, you can skip this step, but I recommend giving it a try because it is almost guaranteed that the people who won’t abandon you after this step have something similar going on upstairs.
After the completion of exposing your inner self, this is where you can start to fully trust the other person. Make sure to put time into the relationship you are creating and make the other person feel important.
If you want to keep them around, you’ll have to come to the realization that only with time can relationships bloom. Quality time is everything so whether you go to the library and study in the same area, have a thrifting date, or eat meals together, you will most definitely have to put time into that friendship.
This is where my knowledge of friendships ends because, as you can tell, making friends isn’t easy (unless it’s just me).
Coming from a small town, I never expected the process of friendship to be so difficult, but college has definitely helped me become more confident in my social skills. I’ve found that after you make one friend, finding ever more becomes that much easier.
This new setting has brought about my need to surround myself with people that will become a stable and familiar part of my life because no matter what stage in life you are going through, having people you find reliable is everything.
You might question why you even need friends, but trust me when I say, friendship encompasses so much more than just having someone that you like to have around. It brings about the ability to trust others, dish out a little dependence, and always have at least one person who makes you feel a little less lonely in both college and life.
It is a human instinct to seek out companionship, so you could say that making friends could be the difference between enjoying and despising life.
Friendship is so important because having an individual or group that you feel comfortable around makes everything in life seem just a little less awful, can impart upon you more happiness than solitude will, and, if anything, can supply some entertainment for your storyline’s plot.
We will all experience a variety of friendships throughout life, but I can tell you with complete certainty that you will learn a multitude of lessons from every single one. I am now going to stop spilling every thought in my mind because I’ve determined that we’re getting a little too personal here. On that note, I wish my fellow freshman good luck and God’s speed.