Blasting Cyndi Lauper while you drive to Whataburger. Throwing french fries at each other at 1 a.m. Making everyone else feel like third-wheels. If you’ve already found your college BFF, consider yourself lucky.
If you haven’t found your partner-in-crime/future-maid-of-honor-best-man, don’t worry. Making best friends takes time and energy, and as a college student, you probably don’t have much of either of those.
A best friend can handle your tears and isn’t afraid to shout at you from across campus. Your best friend will drop everything to take care of you when you’re sick or lonely. You can’t just expect that person to fall into your lap.
Many of us came to ACU not knowing a single person, yet we still expected our relationships to go from strangers to besties in the first semester. How are you supposed to really get to know someone in such a short time, when it took years to make the friends you had in high school?
And how are you supposed to get to know someone, when most people are trying to look good, disguising who they really are? A 2016 social psychology study by the journal PLOS One studied the friendships of college students and found only 53 percent of friendships are reciprocal. That means 53 percent of the people you think are your friends, probably don’t feel the same way about you.
Freshmen, take advantage of the common bathrooms, but don’t worry if your best friends change several times or even every week in the first year.
Sophomores, whether you started this year with your posse or all your friends transferred away during the summer, understand this is a new year, with new friendships. You may have to start all over building your friendships. You may lose and gain a whole new group after pledging season.
Juniors, now that you live off campus, you have to spend much more time and energy to build friendships. Without the Bean and the dorms, you’ll have to go out of your way to eat together or watch movies. Don’t give up on your best friends just because your new Anthropologie bedroom is so cozy now. But if you’re having trouble keeping up with old friends and a new house, nothing is wrong with you.
Seniors, you may be running out of time to put into any friendships at all. But remember, other seniors are overwhelmed and lonely too. It’s not too late to make best friends.
Like I said, if you’ve already found your college BFF, you’re lucky and you should hug your best friend today. (Practicing what I preach, I did hug my best friend, Savannah Buchanan, today). If you haven’t, don’t worry. Be patient. One day you’ll be driving to Whataburger, blasting Beyonce, and wondering how you found someone crazy enough to sing along sitting right next to you.