Friends in College
No, we’re not talking about Friends the TV show. We are talking about you and how you make friends in college. “C’mon,” you think. “I know how to make friends.” Not denying that. Of course, you have your squad in your high school or your hometown, but college is a different ball game because there are more people from all sorts of background. For example, Southern has over 3000 students with various personalities, ages, and majors constantly in motion from one class to another. How can you put yourself out there and form meaningful friendships with people seemingly so different from you? We reached out to several Southern students about their experiences. Here's what they have to say:
“Making friends at Southern was inevitable. I remember being dropped off by my parents my freshman year and not being able to stop crying because I felt like I was abandoning my life back at home. But quickly, the love that each student on this campus carries began to overflow into my heart. Little things like students holding the door open for me, people sitting next to me in the cafe, and the genuine care my professors all showed helped me feel welcome. The strongest sense of friendship at Southern came when I began to lead a LifeGroup. Yes, people here knew my name, but through that ministry, people began to know my story. I became part of a family who cared in meeting once a week to share how we were feeling and how God feels about us. Because of Southern, I've been able to find my relationship with Christ and continue to grow in it through this amazing community.”
- Bryan Arvelo, Sophomore Theology Major
"As an international student, I was scared that I wouldn't fit into American culture fast enough. However, I decided to embrace my diverse background anyway, and I quickly realized how impactful that has been. I've met so many wonderful people here at Southern who have become really close to my heart. If there's anything I say about making friends in college, it's that you should never be afraid to be who you are and always be proud of where you come from!"
- Sharlyn Rumambi, Sophomore Medical Laboratory Science Major
"Making good friends in college was surprisingly more difficult than I thought. Being from California, I came to Southern with hardly any close friends from back home. It is true I made many friends in classes and by getting involved on campus, but very few of these relationships have stuck. In academy, the majority of my class had been together since Kindergarten, and many of us attended the same church. I was handed friends at a young age, and I rarely had opportunities to learn how to create new friendships since I was so involved in my little Adventist circle. This is a stark contrast to my college experience. Keeping close friendships in college takes effort. Among classes, multiple jobs, and other responsibilities, I seldom just have time to chill with friends. I learned quickly to remember to cut out time for the people I care about. Sometimes, I just have to set aside my studying and just bond with other people. I guess this is part of transitioning from adolescence to adulthood."
- Audrey Fankhanel, Sophomore Photography Major
“Making friends in college is all about trying something new and getting involved. If you’re passionate about something, find the motivation to go out and create what you feel is missing, which will lead you to like-minded people. In my case, I made sure to join clubs about things I was very interested in so that I’d meet people who thought similarly to me. I also applied for jobs that were not based on work I could do alone, but rather on a team so that I can get to know even more people. Being a part of a team will introduce you to people you wouldn’t have normally hung out with, and can inspire you to grow in ways you would not have imagined. That’s what college life is all about!”
- Phillip Warfield, SA President and Junior History Major
“As a commuting student, making friends on campus is a little bit of a challenge. It’s hard when all you do is go to class and go home. But making friends is doable. Aside from the friends I already had from High School, I got to know the students in my southern connections class and hung out with people in my major. Soon, a few of them became great friends. Eventually, they began introducing me to people outside of my major. Now, four years later, I have a small group of good people I can turn to and attend events with. The key is to remember that it isn’t the quantity, but quality of people you become friends with.”
- Jacklyn Ruth, Senior Mass Communication Major