First friends don’t have to be your best friends

Kelsey Henninger

I believe you meet lifelong friends in college, even if the relationships don’t form in the first few days of being on campus.

I came to Kent State not knowing anyone. No one else from my graduating class came here with me, and I didn’t know any upperclassmen. I was embarking on a new chapter of my life completely alone, without a friend by my side.

I remember sitting down at my desk during the first day of Week of Welcome after my parents dropped me off and thinking, “Wow, I have no one to do anything with.”

I needed to make friends fast.

I started wandering the halls of my residence hall looking for friendly faces. I met about 15 girls during the first day. To my surprise, it wasn’t as hard as I thought to make friends because many of the other girls were looking for new friends, too.

I started hanging out with a few girls who had similar interests. We went out the first weekend, and we met up for lunch and dinners when school first started. I liked these girls enough to associate with them, but I didn’t connect with them the way friends should. I was bored with them after a week, but they were people I could do things with on campus.

I kept introducing myself to new people because I wanted to form a strong, lasting friendship with someone I wouldn’t get sick of after a few hours.

Once classes were in full swing, I noticed one girl from my residence hall was in a few of my classes. I was drawn to her because we had similar career interests, and she was a familiar face in the lecture hall filled with 300 students. I met another girl in my First Year Experience Flash Topic class. She was also in my math class and one of my lecture classes.

I got to know these girls as we gossiped and griped about school before each class. It was nice to hear they were concerned about the same things I was. I related to these two girls better than the first girls I met.

I started spending more time with the girls I felt a strong connection with and less time with the girls I first met. Consequently, my friendship with those few girls I met at the beginning of WOW fell apart.

College can be a tricky place to form new friendships because it’s hard to connect with someone when the only thing you have in common is the fact that you each don’t have anyone else.

There are so many people at Kent State that you do not have to stay tied to the first friends you meet. They may have only been drawn to you because they didn’t have anyone else, either.

It’s normal to sort through a few dud friendships before finding ones that will continue after college.

Contact columnist Kelsey Henninger at [email protected].