Opinion: Forming meaningful relationships can be difficult in college


Losing friends is an inevitable part of life, but when you suffer from anxiety or possess trust issues even forming friendships can be tough. (Photo illustration by Jordan Schauberger)

Shiavon Chatman

Losing friends is somewhat inevitable. People grow up and eventually grow apart.

But forming relationships with people can be very difficult when you suffer from anxiety or you possess trust issues.

Being a college student, our schedules are often filled with study sessions, friends, work and sometimes crises.  

Who do we run to when our little lives are falling apart?

“I remembered thinking that my friends were always going to be there. If we made it through high school, we’d make it forever or at least that’s what I thought. My dad got sick and my friends weren’t there. That (really) hurt me, but life goes on,” said Ivan Peters, American River College student and Communications major.

How do you find out who your real friends are? College is hard enough without having to find out whether the time and love you invested in someone was worth it.

“I think losing friends is natural, but it’s really hard to have to cope with especially when you feel it ended over something dumb,” said Brittany Strong, ARC student and theater major.

It’s easy to be friends with someone when life is going very well. There’s no conflict and there’s nothing to overcome.

“Me and my friends always did fun stuff together and we also talked about serious stuff. I really connected with them over the years,” Peter said. “So I expected them to be there for when my dad got sick. That’s just the bare minimum, they should have been an active role in my life during this, but they disappeared. I knew how little they thought of me.”

Who do we run to when our little lives are falling apart?

What exactly defines the bare minimum in friendships? Texting a few times during the day, hanging out at least once a week, and checking in on our friends during these crises.

This is very objective. You can’t expect people to have your same definition of friendship and get mad when they don’t follow the script you made up in your head.

“I like to think I know my friends and can predict what they’re going to say but I think that’s just what I want them to say. I wish they were more present in my life. School can be really stressful without having to wonder if your friends care about you.” said ARC student and Spanish major Emilia Carter.

But the key to successful friendships is finding someone whose definition of friendship is in the same vicinity to yours.

“I guess I can’t be mad at them, because people are naturally selfish and like to shy from complications even when it involves your ‘best friend,’” Peters said.

Friendships are often like relationships, you need to work to help perfect them. Two people need to work on them to cultivate a lasting bond.

But going out of your way to help your significant other or friend in a time of need says a lot about your character. This simply makes you a better friend.