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How do I develop quality friends in college?

I am planning to go to college in the fall and am wondering how I will make friends on a campus of strangers. #college-bound

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Anwar’s Answer

Hi Trevor,


That's a very good question and only with experience you find the answer to this question :)


Friendships have an enormous impact on your well-being and happiness. Good friends relieve stress, provide comfort and joy, prevent loneliness and isolation, and even strengthen your physical fitness.


But close friendships don’t just happen. Many of us struggle to meet people and develop quality connections. Whatever your age or circumstances, though, it's never too late to make new friends, reconnect with old ones, and improve your social life.


Know what to look for in a friend

A friend is someone you trust and share a deep level of understanding and communication. A good friend will:

Show a genuine interest in what's going on in your life, what you have to say, and how you think and feel about things

  • Accept you for who you are
  • Listen to you attentively without judging you, telling your how to think or feel, or trying to change the subject
  • Feel comfortable sharing things about themselves with you
  • As friendship works both ways, a friend is also someone you feel comfortable supporting and accepting, and someone with whom you share a bond of trust and loyalty.

The most important thing in a friendship is how the relationship makes you feel—not how it looks on superficially, how many things you have in common, or what others think.


Ask yourself:

  • Do I feel better after spending time with this person?
  • Am I myself around this person?
  • Do I feel secure, or do I feel like I have to watch what I say and do?
  • Is the person supportive and treat me with respect?
  • Is this a person I can trust?

The bottom line: if the friendship feels good, it is good. But if a person tries to control you, criticizes you, abuses your generosity, or brings unwanted drama or negative influences into your life, it’s time to re-evaluate the friendship. A good friend does not require you to compromise your values, always agree with them, or disregard your own needs.


Reference material used from https://www.helpguide.org/home-pages/relationships-communication.htm

Anwar recommends the following next steps:

If you are an Introvert or Shy person, Get some tips on Dealing with Loneliness and Shyness at https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/dealing-with-loneliness-and-shyness.htm
Online friends aren’t enough Technology has shifted the definition of friendship in recent years. With the click of a button, we can add a friend or make a new connection. But having hundreds of online friends is not the same as having a close friend you can be with in person. Online friends can't hug you when a crisis hits, visit you when you're sick, or celebrate a happy occasion with you. Our most important and powerful connections happen when we’re face-to-face. So make it a priority to stay in touch in the real world, not just online.
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Lauren’s Answer

Wow I love Anwar's answer! My advice is to join a club, sport, volunteer initiative, or activity you enjoy to find people with similar interests and hobbies. The commonality is a great starting point! Also keep in mind if you are an incoming freshmen everyone is in the same boat as you and is looking to make friends! So everyone is a little nervous/anxious/scared etc., if you think about it that way you aren't the odd one out :-)
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