What is college without a friend?

Kayleigh Evans

College: Attending classes, studying, and partying is what it’s all about for some students. Yet to do all these things, they may need a friend.

The battle to find new friends may be challenging for students, but getting involved is the best way to meet people, said Jason Miller, director of the Counseling and Human Development Center and John Schell, a clinical psychologist at the DeWeese Health Center.

Freshmen Kevin Patrick and Michael Forte came to Kent from the same hometown and have been friends since high school, but they have ventured out to meet new people.

Schell believes coming to college with old friends brings students into a comfort zone.

“If you don’t push yourself to make new friends, you will become dependent upon these (old) friends, (and) you can miss out on the opportunity of making new friends,” Schell said.

Meeting new people with old friends allows students to remain in their comfort zone.

“People in the dorms introduced us to ultimate Frisbee,” Patrick said. “We play at Memorial Field (the Commons), and we have met a lot of new people.”

For others, meeting people is easier in the residence halls.

“In the dorms, it’s easier when people leave their doors open,” freshman nursing major Amelia Powers said.

Lauren Brenza, freshman early-childhood education major, agreed with Powers; she met 10 new friends in the residence halls.

It’s important to make new friends for new experiences, but this also comes with knowing what to get out of each relationship built.

“Friendship has a lot to do with having something in common with a person. Simply, you just like this person,” Miller said. “Participating in as much as you can is important, even if you are not interested in the group, sometimes it is just about socializing.”

College is a pivotal point in everyone’s life. Students learn new things about themselves, and, in a sense, they will grow up with their new friends, Miller said.

It’s good to have friends for networking opportunities as well. Talking to people in class helps academically, Schell said. “When students have friends in class with them, it motivates them to go to class,” he said.

Everyone is not a friend by all means, but find creative ways to be pleasant to everyone, Miller said.

Contact student life reporter Kayleigh Evans

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Being a loyal friend

Once students have made new friends, being loyal and trustworthy is important to holding onto their new friendships.

Jason Miller director of the Counseling and Human Development Center, defines loyalty as a mixture of what people know to be loyal and also being honest.

“Friendship is a two-way street,” said Miller.

“If you are not getting what you deserve out of your friendships, sometimes you have to cut your losses and give it to someone else.”

Learning how to get along with different personalities will eliminate people from having to tolerate things they do not agree with.

“Look at the relationship with reasonable expectations,” said clinical psychologist John Schell. “Assess whether or not you can engage in the relationship and if you’re continuously getting hurt, back off and try to end the relationship.”

Schell said clinical research shows the number one quality in a friend is loyalty.

“Friendship is an ongoing process,” Schell said. “Good friends are receptive to who they are around, and when we see this in our friends we are more likely to give it back to them.”