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Is it okay to not have any friends in college?

Daydreamer01Daydreamer01 8 replies10 threads Junior Member
I value my alone time, but sometimes I worry that I won't be able to form strong best friend type relationships. They say in college you will find you best friends, and future bridesmaids. I've joined and gone to so many campus events, but still can't seem to form strong relationships. I seem to have a million acquaintances though. I feel like I'm always putting so much work into friendships, but no one does the same with me. Any advice?
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Replies to: Is it okay to not have any friends in college?

  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2811 replies64 threads Senior Member
    Having "a million acquaintances" strikes me as an excellent start. Keep doing what you're doing and soon you're bound to have more friends than you can manage.

    It takes a lot of time, though. Chances are the close friends you had in high school were friends or aquantances from elementary and junior high. You just don't have that kind of history going into college. It will come, though.

    I found getting a job or internship to be really helpful. Time-intensive clubs are good too. Those activities kind of force you to spend a lot of time getting to know a smaller group of people.

    And my two bridesmaids I met in college were the two that let me down. Those from high school and chosen from family were the ones that stuck by me. :)
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  • MWolfMWolf 2050 replies14 threads Senior Member
    I have friends from college, but I also have friends from the military, from grad school, academic colleagues, from salsa dancing, and many many friends who were neighbors or parents of my daughter's friends. Only a couple are actually from undergrad.

    My best friends come from every one of those groups. If i didn't have any friends from my undergraduate, I'd still have the majority of by best friends.

    College is one more station in your life journey. You may or may not pick up friends there who will be best friends or even long term friends. That's OK, because you have so many stations through which you will pass. You will only be 22 when you graduate, barely starting life, and will have barely met a fraction of all the people you will yet meet.

    As somebody who is far older and perhaps wiser, I'll give you a little advice. Anything that comes after the words "They say" without stating who "they" are, is always a fallacy.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6292 replies10 threads Senior Member
    If you are comfortable with a million acquaintances and that satisfies your needs, don't worry.

    If you feel like you are missing deeper relationships, you can work on those. Sometimes, seeing someone regularly helps, so getting more deeply involved in something that matters to you can help (especiallya job or volunteering, but also a music group or Intramural). Some housing arrangements post freshman year (purposeful living, theme based) can help build community.

    But this takes time. It sounds like you are on the right track.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9905 replies538 threads Senior Member
    I was a commuter during my college career and literally made zero friends at college. My friends during that time were mostly all work colleagues.

    Getting a job or volunteering or joining clubs are very good ways to get to know people on a deeper level. If you are religious, get involved in your campus religious group, which tends to be very welcoming and non judgmental.

    Meanwhile, I also think there is a good chance that some of your million acquaintances can become better friends. I’m guessing you are a freshman. It takes time, so just stick with it.

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  • TS0104TS0104 1115 replies29 threads Senior Member
    Remember that that "college is where you meet your lifetime friends" comes from people who are through and done...so those friendships likely were formed and developed over all four years, or more. AND all the generational changes that @aunt bea describes does contribute. But that ease of communication/access can also speed up relationships, too.

    It does take effort to develop deeper friendships. And it is common for one person to put more of the work in, sometimes. And I know, it's not a great feeling, but there are many reasons, personality types, etc. It doesn't mean that they don't want to be your friends. There was a thread on this about "introverts" if you want to try to find it. It was kind of like, some people are natural "reacher outers" as in will make the plans, and some are not. Try not to take that part personally, and know that yes, it takes some time and effort!

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  • Daydreamer01Daydreamer01 8 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Thank you for your responses everyone!
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  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 1038 replies98 threads Senior Member
    edited February 4
    I value my alone time, but sometimes I worry that I won't be able to form strong best friend type relationships. They say in college you will find you best friends, and future bridesmaids. I've joined and gone to so many campus events, but still can't seem to form strong relationships. I seem to have a million acquaintances though. I feel like I'm always putting so much work into friendships, but no one does the same with me. Any advice?

    It’s good to have best friends in college but it’s not a must. Don’t feel pressurized by myths , live your life, study, have fun. Consider being a good friend as a charity, not an investment to get profit but if someone is taking advantage and not being nice then move on.
    edited February 4
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1983 replies27 threads Senior Member
    You didn't say what year you are. If you are a freshman, keep on keeping on and I think you'll get there.

    Everyone's path is different. Some find their besties in college and some don't. I think a lot of people have acquaintances and not necessarily super close friends throughout life.

    It sounds to me like you are doing really well and I bet your acquaintances are friendships just waiting to blossom!
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  • inthegardeninthegarden 1471 replies27 threads Senior Member
    It's clear that you've been open and outgoing since you do have a million aquaintances and are willing to make the first move.

    So, at this point I think your strategy could be to throw yourself deeply into projects and activities that YOU love and care about regardless of the friendship potential (whether that happens to be fitness, some kind of art or sport or job or volunteer work). Focus on your dedication to the activity and your growing skill, while being open to friendship, not chasing it. I think through this activity you will meet like-minded people that you can have a deeper connection with. Also, people tend to be drawn to people who are secure and focused on their interests. Being open and outgoing is great, but looking too hard for friendships (if it's at expense of developing yourself) can sadly bring you the opposite effect of what you want! And, in the meantime, if friendships don't develop as quickly as you'd like, you can still feel good about your life when immersed in something fascinating.
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