Why not go for seconds?

Rory Geraghty

One of the more interesting movies of the last 10 years is Fight Club. I’m sure many people saw this film with a variety of expectations, myself included. By the end of the story, the loose ends are tied up and the finale provides closure. I include myself on the list of viewers that felt this way. However, when I think about it, I feel affected by a particular phrase more powerfully than anything else:

“Single-serving friend.”

The main character uses this phrase to describe the people who he meets on airplanes during his frequent business flights. The reasoning is easy to understand; he only has a single opportunity to enjoy the relationship that is fostered thousands of feet in the air.

As a college student, I can relate to him. I do not fly very often, so the connection does not lie in our travel habits.

During our years in the college atmosphere, we meet many people. We meet and develop different types of relationships with a huge range of people from classes, clubs and other social environments. Sometimes you become friends with someone for the simple fact that you let them borrow your notes from class. Other friendships become more important to you because a particular person may look like a reflection of you – not physically, but a replica of your values and virtues. Even more powerful, you may feel a genuine connection to a person not only because you share many of the same core beliefs, but because you develop an exceptionally high level of respect for them.

So what’s the problem?

Single-serving friends.

When it is just borrowing notes from class, the excuse for being a single-serving friend is legitimized – even if the serving size happens to be the length of the semester. When you find someone who is a replica of your virtues, only offering a single serving becomes a bit more short-sighted. Furthermore, when you find someone who commands your respect for all the right reasons, succumbing to the typical college-experience induced single-serving friendship coma is simply unacceptable – and to me, downright selfish.

Do yourself and your friends a favor: offer more than one serving of yourself. Extend your usual boundaries. Take a risk and let someone know that you value their friendship enough that you will continue to honor your end of the friendship bargain long after this semester, school year or entire college experience concludes.

Most importantly, be honest. With single-serving friendships, it is easy to be dishonest. Many different pressures could potentially lure you to being dishonest in such a situation. Regardless, the underlying reason for dishonesty being acceptable is because nothing is on the line. It may be easier to just lie to a single-serving friend because there is no existing baseline of virtue in the relationship.

Prove to yourself that you’re more than a single-serving friend. Don’t lead people on, but for those you truly care about, show that you value them more than what is typical for most in our situation as college students.

You may get burnt. Unfortunately, some people do not place the same value on these relationships. But when you truly find someone who shares the same basis of beliefs, it is well worth it.

As active participants in the college atmosphere, we are lucky. We get to meet an inordinate number of people that have share many common traits with us. Do yourself a favor and place more importance on the relationships that matter more than what is typical.

Offer more than a single serving of yourself.

Rory Geraghty is a senior media production major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].