Finding Supportive Friends in College

January 30, 2017

In October of 2015, I landed back in San Francisco after visiting my home in Dallas for Fall break. When I was on my way home from the airport, I got a call that my grandfather had just passed away. Knowing that flights round trip to Dallas would run around $400, I felt in my gut that turning around and going back home was not a choice. I ended up missing my grandpa’s memorial in Dallas because of going to school too far away.

I was obviously upset for quite some time about the death of my grandfather and missing such an important family event. I made a trip to the grocery store after I got home and came home to the photo seen at the top left. My roommates had gotten me flowers and written me notes of love and encouragement. They got me out of the house, listened to me tell stories and joke about what a great guy my grandfather was, and even helped out with my apartment chores while I dealt with the loss.

A lot of you reading this have probably found a great supportive group of people at your high school who you know have your back. You are probably fearing fearful and even grieving about the end of this close bond. Friendship will remain but the closeness will fade a bit with the wide variety of experiences each of you will be having. This is something to let yourself grieve about. I even remember going through it moving from 8th grade to high school. It is a normal part of life and a mundane part of human experience.

Finding that love and support with people at your school will seem like a daunting task. Everyone around you is from all over the globe, coming from all walks of life, and may even come into college with friends from their past. This is what draws people to choose schools that their friends are choosing, which is never a good reason to choose a school. Here are some tips for making true friends at your school:

• Start first with the people on your floor. Leave your door open, introduce yourself to people you see in the hallway, and be genuinely interested in the people on your floor. These are your first resource when you need something like to borrow some bobby pins or a straightener. It is also a lot easier to tell someone to turn their music down when you know their name.

• Remember that you are all going through the same experience. Nobody is any more prepared for college in terms of making friends than anyone else (except those who come in with high school friends). Remember that each of you are in the same boat and everyone there is open to making new friends.

• Talk to people in your classes. I know on the first day, your classes may seem silent. Sit next to some friendly looking people and just introduce yourself. This breaks the awkward silence and helps you get your foot in the door for making connections. It is so much less awkward to message them on Facebook asking for the homework when you have spoken in real life before.

• Befriend people like yourself. You are going to be able to really tell who is serious about school and who is just there because their parents made them. Look for people who are prepared, come to class on time and don’t skip lectures, and associate with them. You are who you hang out, so make good choices freshman year.

You will find that supportive friend group if you are willing to invest yourself into the experience. Friends that love and encourage you just don’t automatically fall in place— you have to be genuinely interested in those connections and show those same things to the people around you. You can do it!

About The Author

Rose Mannas, Guest Blogger
Rose Mannas, Guest Blogger

Rose is a junior majoring in Nursing at the University of San Francisco. She is involved in Greek Life, Internships and Volunteering. Want to visit USF? Check out Campus Sherpa for a 1-on-1, personalized campus tour!

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