Your Future Squad: Choosing the Right Lifelong Friends
By Kia Robinson
This article originally appeared on ESSENCE.com for a back-to-college content partnership with TLC.
College is amazing because you just never know how those around you will impact your life. If you leave college with nothing else, leaving with lifelong friends is one of the best things ever. In four years, you’ll foster unique relationships with people from all around the world. Some will last. Some won’t. But those that stick with you through college and beyond will prove that college was an invaluable experience.
Below we’ve laid out a few tips that will help you navigate the amazing lifelong friendships that college has to offer.
Each Friend Has Their Own Role
One friend won’t satisfy all of your needs. Each friend has a different role in your life and once you learn what each person has to offer, you’ll better understand how they impact your life. Choose friends that are contributing to your success and your individual development.
Determine Your Role
What are you contributing to your friendships? What’s your role? It’s amazing when your friends are pouring into you but it’s equally important that you’re pouring into them as well. Friendships are a two way street and require great effort on both ends. Make sure that as a friend, you’re contributing to the success and development of those in your circle.
Balance is important. While we love friends that can party with us and have a great time, we also need friends that know when it’s time to work. Find friends that know that there’s a time and place for everything. More often than not, these are the same friends that will remind you when it’s time to get down to business and we always need that one friend.
Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Don’t get too caught up in your comfort zone that you don’t cast your net far and wide when it comes to developing relationships. It’s easy to foster relationships with those who are most like us, but you’ll be amazed at the relationships you’ll foster with those who may be completely different from you.
Put In The Effort
Friendships require effort! College can provide many distractions but make sure you’re able to sift through the distraction and actively do your part to maintain and develop friendships. Even after college is over, put in the effort to make sure the friendships last. In the beginning it’ll be phone calls, birthday celebrations and road trips. As the years go by, it’ll be engagement parties, baby showers and weddings. And it’ll be better having your college friends with your through this journey we call life.
Kia is a recent college graduate that's simply trying to grasp the concept of "adulting". She enjoys hugs, quotes, a good book, and all things motivational. Her favorite book is The Alchemist and she can watch Girlfriends all day long.