I student-teach first grade and one of the biggest things we tried to drive home to the kids the first week of school is that they should try to be friends with everyone in the school. When you see someone sitting alone at recess, you should invite them to play. Of course this led one little boy to ask “But what if it’s a girl?”
Here at Barnard we don’t have any teachers to help us make friends. Yet somehow there is this pervasive idea that during your first week of college you are supposed to meet your best friend forever that will become your future suit mate and eventual god-parent to the children you didn’t even know you were planning on having. This idea often leads to friendships based on artificial commonalties. During NSOP I was briefly friends with a girl whose sole commonality with me was that we both came from states where it was illegal to pump your own gas (Shout out to NJ and Oregon!). While some people may be lucky enough to make their friends that quickly for many other people it could take weeks, months, even a few semesters before they find their friends. Eventually though you WILL find friends who share your interests, your values, your guilty pleasures, and eventually some future life experiences. Below a few peer-eds share how they met some of their closest college friends.
“I met all of my best friends at an academic summer camp that we all went to from 6/7th grade up to 12th grade. So we’ve literally known each other since we were 11 and 12. I met two of them in class and one of them while playing flag football.” -Kyara
“I didn’t really get settled in my friend group until my sophomore year. I’d met one of them in our FemSex section the spring of our first year, and we liked each other so much that we started cooking brunch in the Barnard Quad kitchens every Sunday morning before FemSex (and then would often debrief after FemSex). During our sophomore year, she introduced me to my other two best friends, one of whom had been in my First-Year English class and one of whom I’d never encountered. It all just fell together slowly, without our realizing it was happening, but by the end of sophomore year, we were a group — and now we live in the same suite.”- Caroline
“I met a few of my closest friends on my freshman hall (although we didn’t bond til second semester), and some others through well woman (not even peer eds, just sitting in the office and hanging out!). Maybe I’m not particularly outgoing… That’s mostly how it happened!”- Lily
“I met my best friend on the Dems campaign trip! Lots of bonding time” – Michaela
“I met mine in Reacting to the Past and it turned out she lived on my floor. It led to many nights in character as French citizens during the Revolution.” – Rachel Katz
As you can tell, very few people met their best friends the first week of school. People made friends in classes, in clubs, and even by just seeing someone in the same place. Go to places that you like to be- that’s where you will find people like you. How did you meet your friends in college? Comment below!