Gracie Schweitzer is a psychology sophomore and opinion columnist for Mustang News. The views expressed in this piece don’t necessarily reflect those of Mustang News. You’ve heard the story a thousand times: “We met at WOW and have been friends ever since!” But is that really how most college friendships are made?
Personally, it took me a while to find my best friends in college and, even after that, there still comes the test of time and the obstacles that every relationship endures.
Growing up, we all hear stories of how great the college days were for our parents and how many of their life-long friendships were made during these years. What parents don’t share with us is the fact that many of the friendships they built while at college took a while to make or find.
Move-in day has to be one of the most exhilarating days of a college student’s life; it is the day we settle into the place we will spend the next four to five years of our lives. I remember my move-in day. I had the biggest smile on my face and thought that those across the hall from me would be my greatest friends of that year and future years to come. This, however, was soon to be proven false.
Sure, my floormates and I all got along well enough to live together, but I did not find my people there or during my first weeks of college. I came into college like so many other first years, thinking that the people I met and spent every second with during my first few months of college were going to be in my life forever.
I have watched many people go through the same experience that I did as well. I eventually came to realize that we were all led to falsely believe in this reality of friends in the first week, first month or even first quarter.
Every person that enters our lives comes for a reason. The same is said about the brief friendships we make during our first few months of college when we are thinking these people are going to be everything for the next four years. We spend many moments trying to solidify these relationships and these moments have an impact on the future friendships we make.
The friendships you make during your first few months might still exist today, but I am here to say those relationships are rare to last all four years of obstacles and self-navigation. Our first year selves often have such high expectations about what college will give to us; most often these expectations have been built on stories from long-ago graduates and our own idealistic imaginations.
In no way am I saying your first year relationships are doomed because that too would make me shed a tear. One of my greatest friends lived two doors down from my dorm and she and I are going to be roommates again next year.
What I am exposing are the facts: most forced first year relationships do not last past a few months. Friendships face many obstacles and require faith; these two things only come with time. Time, faith and trust are what make these friendships last. The friends you make in the first few months of college cannot yet be called your forever friends.
So, first years, do not force friends and do not expect the friendships you make now to be there in full force for the next four years. Life, personal growth and different journeys determine which friendships stand the test of time, and those that are only meant to impact us for a short while.