The Friends You Will Have in College

Aristotle says there are three different kinds of friendships… I don’t actually recall from freshman year philosophy what those kinds of friendships are, (maybe because I was so busy planning coffee dates with my newly found friends) but I can tell you that there are definitely more than three kinds, at least in my third-year-of-college deep opinion.

As I have grown from a wide-eyed freshman to a, let’s be honest, somewhat tired junior, I have made new friends and kept the old, as they say in Girl Scouts. I have also lost friends and have made mistakes in friendships that helped me grow as a person. We all have those moments... you know the kind, when you’re walking and you see the friend that you used to laugh, cry, and eat ice cream with at 2 AM. For me, most of these lost friendships were observed through other friends’ losses.

I truly believe that friendships are hard work. Unlike high school, maintaining a healthy friendship in college  requires constant effort. Between classes, clubs, jobs, and everything in between, keeping up with the many kinds of friends that you have is TOUGH. As someone who loves everyone that I become close with ─, and yes, I mean everyone ─ you can imagine that my planner is full of “lunches with ___” and “coffee with ___.” This sort of constant scheduling and never enough time for quality one-on-one bonding makes having a strong, healthy friendship hard. But because the work that you put into the friendship is a reflection of what you will in turn get out, it is ALWAYS worth working around your friends’ busy schedules to plan a lunch or coffee date.

So now that we have established that friendships are hard work, let’s talk about the kind of friends that a social gal might have during her college years:

Freshman friends- these are the kind of friends that our favorite philosopher would describe as friends of utility. Freshman year friends are typically those whom we meet because of our dorm and with whom we end up spending most of our time regardless of how much we have in common. These friends are great and God willing the friendships will last and turn into a different kind of friendship, BUT if they don’t that’s totally okay, too! You will cherish the good times with these people and continue to wave in passing and occasionally stop to chat in the hall while running late to class.

Class friends- we all know and love these kinds of folks. The friends who have your back more often than you care to admit. These friends are the ones who have been with you in your major classes for the last however-many semesters. They know your struggles because they have been there with you and they make great venting pals! If you happen to hang out with these people outside of class that’s GREAT! But if your friendship is limited to four walls, some old-as-dirt desks, and a professor to match in years, then that is just fine, too! You know you can always count on that familiar face in class to make you feel better about the less-than-great grade that you got on your last quiz.

Fun friends- these friends, simply put, are awesome. They require the least amount of work but they sure know how to help you have a good time! Whether it be exploring the city on a whim or hitting the town, the fun friends are a distinct group of people who you know you can count on to help you find a good time around every corner. Maybe these friends were also in the freshman friend category and you don’t really have that much in common except a sense of adventure.Either way, this group of friends rocks and you should remind them more often how great they are!

High school friends- this category can not go unmentioned because this group of gals or guys really know the whole you. They know the middle school (yikes), high school, and college version of you and have been there for the big moments. We will always have so much love for this kind of friend because no matter how often we see them, we can always pick back up where we left off.

And finally we have our best friends- these are the ones that we really can’t live without. The friend(s) we call at 2 AM with good news and bad news. The ones who we know will be in our weddings someday (yes, they have seen our wedding Pinterest boards) and the ones who we know can always make us feel loved when we need it most. These kind of friendships tend to be the hardest, but they really are the sweetest and most fulfilling. As Aristotle would correctly categorize: friendships of goodness.

I hope that you have had friends who make you a better person and I hope that you will remember that every person who comes into our lives does so for a reason. Friendships are special little rays of sunshine on cloudy days, no matter the type. Now go out and tell a friend that you love them!

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