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Making Friends at University and Avoiding Negative People

Student maximizing success at university talking to professor While it is not a guarantee that you will make friends at university who will be a part of the rest of your life, the chances are very high that you will. Most people, especially those fresh out of high school, start school in the same boat: everyone is nervous, everyone is inexperienced, and everyone is looking to find kindred spirits. Not everyone, but the vast majority of people are receptive to new friends. The hierarchies of high school no longer determine who is allowed to be friends with who, and people are generally more free to be themselves. It is easier to make genuine friends in this kind of environment.

There are, however, as there are anywhere, people to avoid. Sometimes people will pretend to be your friend because they want something from you. That is just a fact of life. If you are eager to make new friends at school, and want to also know the kind of people on campus to stay away from, below is a list to help jumpstart your social life.

Join clubs to meet friends at university

When in doubt, join a club, or clubs if you want to instantly increase the odds that you meet people you are going to make fast friends with. As you move throughout your life into larger and larger pools of people, and more dynamic social settings, the chances that you meet people who are more closely aligned with your interests, worldview, personality, aspirations, etc. increase dramatically. Most people rely on chance to meet these like-minded human beings. Often times it works and you stumble upon the right people for you. Other times it doesn’t work out so perfectly.

If you really want to maximize your chances of meeting the right people for you, join clubs that are dedicated to interests and passions you have. If you are into gaming or esports, find the esports and gaming club. If you are passionate about the environment and environmental activism, join that club. If you like running and cross-country, you are more likely to meet running partners and people you already have a lot in common with if you join the campus running club. Joining clubs is also a great option for people who live off campus, who often struggle with making friends at school.

Read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

If your first impulse is to be skeptical of books that purport to transform you into everybody’s favourite person, that is a good thing. The self-help and self-actualization industry is full of half-baked theories, cliches, and a healthy amount of grifting. However, there is a reason Dale Carnegie’s perennial bestseller from 1936 is on the list of ‘most important books I’ve ever read’ of so many influential people.

The list of things to do and avoid in order to form positive social relationships with people is simple, yet impactful. It includes things like being a good listener and encouraging people to talk about themselves, being genuinely interested in other people, make the other person feel important (while being sincere), begin a conversation in a friendly way with people, and admitting your mistakes (among others). Most human beings are socialized to be friendly and cooperative from a young age, though we all have deficits in our social skills that we could definitely work on. Reading and understanding Carnegie’s book isn’t a road map for making your ideal friends, but it does provide you with some insight into how to elicit positive responses from as many people as possible.

Stay away from people who ask to copy your work (and other parasitic people)

If you work hard and get good grades, especially if it is in a smaller class, at some point you might be asked by someone you don’t know if they can use your assignment, or your lab responses, or your reading response to create their own. They might approach you with a smile and a overly sweet, or nervous tone in their voice, hoping that you will take pity on them for having failed to do their work. Don’t fall for it.

While we are naturally inclined to help people we know and like, you should avoid parasitic people like the plague. Parasitic people also include those who never seem to have money to pay their part of the bill when you go out for drinks or dinner, people who invite themselves over for dinner, but who never seem to reciprocate, or people who are constantly asking to borrow money, but never seem to pay it back. Sometimes we have to find out the hard way that we have a parasitic person in our lives. Sometimes it’s a person who started off as a genuine friend, but who became parasitic over time. Whatever the case may be, genuine friends are people who want to be in mutually beneficial, reciprocal relationships with you.

Make time for people

If you really want to solidify a friendship with someone, the best way to do that is to show them that you truly care about them. It might be making time in-between classes to have a coffee with them and let them vent about a personal problem, or staying an extra 15 minutes in the library to explain a concept to them, or help them with a course-related issue.

If you are struggling to find the time to spend on your friends and the people you care about, there are always professional academic writing services out there that can help free up some time to spend with other human beings. Life is not all about work. There should be a significant amount of human connection in your life as that, ultimately, is what makes life fulfilling.

Having the time to make friends and cultivate friendships is just as important as how you go about meeting people in the first place. Keep the above information and tips in mind when making friends at university, and reach out to Homework Help Global whenever you feel that school is getting in the way of living a full life.

References:

(2019). “The best summary of how to win friends and influence people.” Farnam Street. Retrieved from: https://fs.blog/2012/07/how-to-win-friends-and-influence-people/

Venkatakrishnan, R. (2017). “Living off-campus can pose social issues for students.” The State Press. Retrieved from:
http://www.statepress.com/article/2017/02/spmagazine-living-off-campus-can-pose-social-issues-for-students

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