Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Friends form tighter bonds in college

Julianna Eveland

College is a unique time in life when making friends comes naturally.

Having the ability pick and choose who to spend time with makes it less challenging to find the right group of people. Whereas in high school, a smaller setting, it feels more like a “making the best with what’s around” type of situation.

Making friends comes from
proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that
encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other, according to research by Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology and gerontology at the University of North Carolina.

These kinds of interactions come easily in a high school or dormitory setting; running into the same people everyday is almost inevitable. But the difference between high school and college friendships that stem from these interactions is more options in choosing to take the next step toward lasting friendships.

I have collected a medley of friends that vary from different stages and places in my life. Lately, I’ve started to see the differences between my college companions versus my high school group of friends.

There are those that say, High school was the best years of my life.” Then there are those who believe college is the pinnacle of their younger years — the glory days. I feel like those reflections come from what kinds of friends are kept during those years.

My circle of friends in college has become narrower in terms of the ones I keep close to me, the ones I can truly rely on.

I had a group of about 12 people I would consider my “close friends” in high school, which relates to how I felt in University Village my first year. However, as we forged onward, out of the dorms and into houses or apartments, our scattered locations interrupted our closeness.

With this, my true friends came to light. Though this also made me realize the ambiguity of my relationships in high school. I had friends I could vent to and friends I could rely on, but college is a much deeper and complex stage in my life.

Students are constantly tested in a university. The friends I have made in Chico have helped me manage the stress that comes with higher education and omit the drama that comes with high school relationships.

People grow and mature in character through college, which helps one pick out the people that are worth spending time with. I am so happy and at ease here in Chico and I owe it to my friends, who have made all the difference.

Looking back, the people I spent time with in high school happened to be amazing and I was happy with my friendships. I felt the love, but there were complications that strained my relationships with high school friends: drama, cliques, gossip and petty arguments.

That group had not yet matured enough to confront each other or look past simple adversities. I do love my high school friends, cherish the memories we’ve shared, and keep in touch with some, but my Chico family takes the cake.

I’ve lost all the drama that came with high school relationships. Drama comes by the people I surround myself with and after entering college I’ve left all that behind me. It’s freeing.

My friends from my younger years are their own type of wonderful. But my comrades in college are shaping up to be people I’ll continue to have as constants in my life — people I’ll celebrate my first raise with or invite to my wedding.

I still feel confident that my high school relationships will remain connected in one way or another. Thank God for Facebook, right?

Students are always busy trying to establish their own college relationships, new connections. Living in the moment, not spending time rekindling past relationships, but creating lasting ties for the future.

Julianna Eveland can be reached at [email protected] or @janeca12 on Twitter.

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