Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Making New Friends at College

You made it. You have a life! You are getting a college education. The social scene is probably not what you are used to though. It might look sweet, but it might also look a bit intimidating.

You might have just come from high school where you've been with the same crowd for some time. You might have come out of the work force and you are used to a familiar group of co-workers and friends. Or, maybe you already have family, a job and a long-term set of social contacts. Whichever it is, the college social scene can seem exciting, challenging, daunting and even overwhelming.

College is a place where you can make life-long friends or where you can simply enjoy some light social contact with fellow students before you head back to family and well known friends.

Whichever is the case for you; friends are one of the great joys in life. One very important factor that determines how healthy a person is happens to be friendships. Studies show that people who have good supportive friends are ill less often and have greater longevity!

Commit to speaking to one new person every day this week. Or, at least commit to smiling at one person every day and see what happens. Studies show that behaving in a happy way (eg. smiling) can actually promote the feeling of happiness. A real example of “fake ‘till you make it.” Try the experiment.

Be comfortable and be yourself. Other students are just as nervous as you are. Trying to appear something you are not sets you up for discomfort.

If you want to make friends – be a friend – offer your help – lend a pen – participate in school sponsored events, set up study groups or meet for coffee.

If you are living in res – leave your door open – invite people in for a snack. Don’t use up all your time communicating by email with old friends from home – take some time to get out and meet some new people.

“The best way to experience true nurturing is to give true nurturing.” Caroline Myss

Good friends push us to develop the best in ourselves.

You can check out this site for ideas on how to develop some friendships, resolve conflicts and improve your communication skills.

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