(fun fact: I watched the Gossip Girl finale for the third, maybe fourth, time the other day and decided they could be the face of this post) With the ups and downs of college life, having a solid support system is one of the things I consider essential. Staying in-state for school has given me the option to run home when things are too much to handle but with such a busy schedule, I can't always afford to hop in the car and run away from my responsibilities. That's where great friends come into play. I've learned a lot about friendships over the past two years. I've gained life long friends but I've also gained lessons that I think will help you when dealing with friendships in college.
1. Your closest friend may be someone you don't speak to everyday. Trying to balance a job and schoolwork is already a lot to handle so when you try to incorporate being active on campus, having a social life, while also getting adequate sleep, something ends up lacking. With that, don't feel someone is any less of a friend because you don't hear from them everyday. You want to surround yourself with individuals who are working to better themselves so respect their grind. However, you also don't want someone who lacks the ability to make time for what's important. It's all about balance and reciprocity. A true friend will make time out of their busy schedule, even if it is a simple text or a five minute phone call, it's something.
2. The difference between an acquaintance and a friend You meet so many people in college! There will be times when you talk to someone for less than ten minutes and feel like you've known each other all your life. In some cases, a genuine friendship can form or they'll just be another name on the list of best friends you made while on line for the bathroom at a party (aka the list that never ends). There will also be the group who you will only hear from on Thursday-Saturday nights. There's nothing wrong with having a solid group to go out with but you'll want to find the ones who are also down to pull an all-nighter with you when beer and music are replaced by textbooks and coffee...very strong coffee.
3. Don't lose yourself to fit in. There's a chance you're still figuring out who that is and that's completely okay. At this point in time, you've developed a sound decision-making system and know most of your likes and dislikes. If you feel like you have to change your views in order to be with someone, move on. It's not worth it. Never in life should you compromise your values to satisfy someone else. If you've never been a fan of drinking, why pretend? You'll get tired of the games eventually so why waste that time when you can spend it with people with similar interests who enjoy the real you.
4. Cherish the ones who matter Everyone says they'll be there when things get rough but you start to realize who actually means it. Very few people are willing to leave their beds at any hour of the night to come sit with you while you stuff your face with potato chips and vent about your feelings. I've been lucky enough to find a select few, both in high school and college, who will do just that and couldn't be more grateful. You start to realize how rare these friendships are and will go to great lengths to keep these people in your life.