I was raised to be careful with the people I call friends and to make sure I know a person thoroughly before I become vulnerable to them. I am also an introvert so you can imagine how difficult it was for me to be in a new country with all new faces, culture
I did not want to be friends with just the African kids I had met (these are some of my best friends). I was in a big university in a new country and it was filled with all sorts of people from different walks of life, I wanted to get to know them, learn from them and build amazing connections so I decided to join every organization I could find (I absolutely regret that).
I joined so many organizations that I did not even have time for myself. I had to sit back and tell myself, “you are spreading yourself too thin, you need to calm down”. After that honest talk with myself, this sophomore year international student decided to only join organizations that I genuinely have interests in.
I was even in a sorority for the first two years but I had to drop because I was not feeling any natural connections to the rest of the girls. They were amazing girls and very friendly and helpful but they already had their cliques and it was just too difficult to break in with any of them. I ended up meeting one of my best friends right before we both dropped and that was life-changing. So back to building long-lasting relationships in college, I think it comes down to about 2 to 3 things.
Join Organizations – Only The Ones You Are Interested In
Look up your school’s organizations. Pick out 3 organizations that stand out to you. Attend their events, volunteer with them or even just go to their meetings. I promise you are bound to run into someone that could end up being a lifelong friend.
Put Yourself Out There
Do not be afraid to ask for their numbers or emails. And do not be afraid to be the first person to say “do you want to go get coffee?” “Do you want to study together?” etc
Show your friends the real you. I am not saying tell them every single secret about you (haha) but do not put up a facade, be yourself, let them get to know you for who you really are.
Be A Good Judge Of Character
Make sure you have your priority straight. There are some friends you will meet and they are not good for you. They are either too involved in drama, way too self-centered, selfish, they could be a bad influence to you or a lot of other things. Set your standards, set your priorities for what you are looking for in
Do Not Be Afraid To Open Up
When a friendship is developing, do not be afraid to open up as long as you trust the individual. Friendships grow so much after a vulnerable moment between the two parties. I cannot tell you how many times my friends and I have had sleepovers and opened up to each other and the next day, we just felt closer and love each other even more.
Okay, so I lied, there is more than just 2-3 things involved in building a solid relationship in college. And now that I am reading it, it sounds like steps in dating (haha) so I guess building friendships is just like dating but if you ask me, it is definitely more intense.
I hope these steps help someone out there feel a little less lonely. I always believed in the saying “Keep your circle small” but someone recently told me “keep your circle honest not small.” And I realized he was right. Honesty goes a long way.
What do you think about these steps mentioned above? Do you have any more to add? Leave me a response in the comments below 🙂 Do not forget to like, share and connect with me on Instagram