I recently came upon the saying, “True friendship is a relationship where there is mutual giving and receiving, and the giving is done purely for the good of the friend – not to gain something in return.” For many students, making true friends is one of the hardest aspects of adjusting to college life.

Many of us came from towns in which our classmates were all we knew. Our friends had been our friends long before we understood the true meaning of the word. Unless you chose to attend college with your best friend in tow, most of us showed up at orientation shy, a little nervous and quick to befriend the first kid we met. As a result, most college students go through a series of friendships over the course of their experience.

Often, the friends we make as freshmen are friends of necessity – nobody wants to eat in the dining hall alone, so the people on your hall become your friends. Sometimes, it works out that your freshman roommate, or the kid two doors down, actually does become a good friend and one who remains as such throughout the next few years. However, more likely than not, our true college friends are accumulated over time through classes, clubs, teams and other connections.

Read through the following situations. Friendship is designed to be a process by which we find things in another person that enrich our lives, compliment our strengths and downplay our weaknesses, making us stronger, more complete human beings.

Newman works in the Health Promotion Office of the University Health Service and can be reached at jnewman@campustimes.org.

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