Find the Right Friends
When I began college, like most freshman, I was pumped to meet new people. After all, half of college is living with, spending time with, and getting to know a huge group of people your age from all over the country.
After settling in and getting to know the people I lived with, I started branching out after I got a job as a barista at our on-campus coffee shop. Given the nature of a small Christian school, making friends was pretty easy. As long as I had somewhat similar music tastes or played the same intramural sport as someone, we would find time to hang out during the week.
This went on until halfway through my sophomore year. I quickly realized hanging out with 20+ different people from different groups became a game of catch up and less of an activity I found enjoyment in.
I was exhausted. I’ve always been an introvert, but I didn’t realize how much I needed alone time to recharge until I got got burnt out from constantly hanging out with people.
Starting my junior year, I realized I needed to spend more time on school and work, and less time worrying about how many people I needed to meet. As a result I began spending time with a small group of five or six people.
Maybe it was a sign of getting older or just more of my personality, but I started having better friendships with those I chose to invest and spend time with. I really started to dig deeper in those friendships to the point where we all knew almost everything about each other and our families. We started having deeper conversations about life, theology and current social issues going on around us.
Another benefit in this change was that I started to really get to know myself through this process. I realized I’m wired to know a few people really well, instead of knowing a little bit about a lot of people.
If you’ve graduated and moved on from school, you know it can be a challenge to keep all your friendships in tact. Friends get jobs, go overseas, move, get married, or have kids. You name it. It’s a whole new game.
Through all the changes that post-grad life threw at me, I left school with a small group of friends I can honestly say I’ll be friends with for life.
Maybe you have had the same feeling. You want to meet as many people as possible, but the fact is, it’s draining and there’s only so many people you can be a true friend with.
Don’t buy into the lie that being nice to people is equivalent to being their friend for one night out of the month. You’re not only wasting their time in a friendship that will flounder, but you’re wasting yours.
Everyone is different. You might be like me where you are content with a small group of friends, or you have the rare ability to really have deep friendships with a lot of different people. One thing that is common however is that you’ll be amazed by how many people you spend time with that you don’t honestly know.
So start discovering now who you really want to know and vice versa.
There’s a quote from John Lennon that really sums up my thoughts on friendships that has so much truth intertwined in it.
Start being honest with yourself and those around you. Everyone deserves to find their right friends. Who are yours?