honest advice from honestly nice people
By Chris Guerra
Speaking from experience, making friends isn’t the easiest thing into the world. Especially when you’re thrown into a new environment with thousands of new faces. But that is what makes the people at Baylor so special. There are people here who will appeal to the characteristics of the friends you are used to, and those who don’t appeal to those characteristics-you might end up making friends with both. I’m here to give you a few tips, on making friends, and opening yourself up to new opportunities to make friends through different ways!
"Rip up your cool card"
Why the quotes? Because that is one of the things that my Line Camp leader told us that has resonated with me throughout my time at Baylor. Going from high school to college, your mental notion is to mature to fit the idea of what a college kid is like. But that is all we are. WE ARE KIDS. Well, at least some of us are. We just want to have fun in a childish manner. When we were kids, we wanted to be teenagers. When we were teens, we wanted to be adults. When you are finally an adult in college, you will realize you just want to be a kid. Embrace the weirdness that surrounds you. If you want to go fountain hopping and puddle jumping at midnight during the heaviest storm on campus, there will be people who will join you. If you want to go outside and blow bubbles using the Spongebob technique, I’m sure someone will want to have some fun with you. This is basically saying let yourself go. When you do that, you will be able to see some pretty true friends.
Find people who encourage your beliefs.
College is a time when a lot of your beliefs will be put to the test. Not just religious, but political, social, demographical, paradoxal, quadrilateral. And it might be those beliefs that are near and dear to your heart. This is a Christian school so there will be plenty of people defending that faith. But if you are from another religion like Hindu or Jewish, people will be there by your side to strengthen that faith that your already have. But it is not just religion. If you believe Harry Potter is the best book/movies series ever created while your dorm neighbor thinks it’s The Lord of the Rings, there will be a debate with much support from friends on each side. The point is that the friends you make here won’t let you fall in your beliefs. You may feel them weakening but someone will notice and be the first one to text you when you need help.
Friends come in all different personalities.
Don’t expect to find all your friends with one set of personalities. You aren’t only going to have friends that take their school work seriously and are completely devoted to it and don’t have any fun. You aren’t only going to find friends who completely slack off. Yes, those are the extremes and unlikely to find anyone like that at Baylor, but my point is that there will be a variety with your friends. You will have friends who are disciplined in school but make sure they get some fun in with an organization. Or those who seem like all they do is have fun but manage to keep a well-balanced GPA. You aren’t going to find your friends in the popular's or in the geeks. You will find your friends in a boiling pot of all the different personalities out there.
Have courage, don't be shy!
Like I said, making friends is hard. This may be me asking for too much and putting my neck out there, but you can’t stay in your comfort bubble forever. There will come a time when you are going to have the urge to go talk to that guy/girl in your class if they want to hang out and all you have to do is approach. Everything after that is easy. Ask someone who you want to be friends with if they want to go get food at Memo after class or if they want to watch a movie. It’s hard and I still struggle with it at times… but you learn and grow from it. Trust me.
Friends come with time.
Don’t expect that guy you met at Line Camp or that girl you met at orientation or your old friends from high school to be it. Those won’t be your only friends, not the ones you have immediately going into college. I thought I had my friends set the first week of college. I was friends with the people in my residence hall mostly because we were all together and we had the same classes. And they still are my friends. But I met more friends that I hang out with frequently a few months into college. Once I got established in my church and became a member of a club, I knew I found the ones. And even those who I was “friends with” some of the people in the organization, our friendship did not grow much until the spring semester. Real and true friends are the ones that stick around for a while.
Don't expect to have just one friend group
Like I said, I have friends from my residence hall, church, and organization. And I even have a few friends from my classes. Sure the friends might intermingle between groups but some won’t and that is completely fine and dandy. Your friends won’t only come from your church. Heck, it may not even be a group. I could just be a friend you met at the library that you study with. This allows you to reach out to others and find yourself in them through the process.
Go to stuff.
OK, here is the obvious punchline. GO TO STUFF. You won’t meet people if you hermit yourself in your room all day doing homework and watching Netflix. Go to Welcome Week activities, football games, organization performances (Guerrilla Troupe is a good one), DP Hour, and other campus event. This is how you meet people as long as you pair it with talking to them. I lost my roommates when we were going to a football game together but ended up having a funny conversation with a guy I didn’t even know. You are only going to make friends if you go out and do it.
One last note to remember. Love is not only a thing that belongs in a family or relationship. Love comes in different forms. And you have to put love in a friendship for it to grow.
Chris is a sophomore Pre-Business major who loves making kolaches. He's always down for hanging out, and is the embodiment of a teddy bear. Shoot him an email, he'd love to talk to you before the fall semester starts!