We mostly tend to think of creating friendships as a casual activity, and as a way of finding people to spend time with and to enjoy ourselves with at school. But creating friendships at university has important long-term implications too. For this reason, you may want to make an effort to create friendships that will survive university, particularly if you’re in your junior or senior years and getting ready for your post university life.
Why You Should Create Friendships That Will Survive University
Life can be a long, tough journey, and it’s always better when you have company along the way. It’s not just at university, but also once you enter adult life. In fact, once you graduate you may find that it’s even more difficult to make friends with people who you can really connect with. Most of your friendships will tend to be with professional colleagues, and not necessarily by choice or personal interests.The friends that you are making now at school could be friends for life, due to shared interests and the shared experience of university. Most friendships will happen naturally, but you do have some measure of control over the people you will become friends with. Thinking long-term – beyond graduation – you may want to actively seek to create friendships with different groups of people while you’re at school.
Having friends from different walks of life can be a real benefit when you are out in the work world and in need of references, jobs, business partners, or even a shoulder to cry on. All are easier to come by when you have friends who come from different backgrounds.
Where do you find those friendships at university?
Creating Friendships With People In The Same Major
Sometimes making friends with people in your major is a natural occurrence. Other times, you might avoid these friendships out of fear of becoming too close with people that you’re spending too much time with during class. But this is also an excellent source of long-term friendships.
People who are in the same major will eventually enter the same career field. When they do, they can become a rich source of personal references and even future business partners. Some will rise up in companies ahead of you, and could become future employers.
You should naturally want to have a least a few friends in this group.
Creating Friendships With People Who Are In Related Majors
In life, things don’t always move in straight lines – sometimes they zigzag. That’s why it’s important to develop friendships with people who are in related majors, though not necessarily in the major that you’re in. The idea is to build connections with people who will be in parallel fields.
This can not only give you a broader perspective on your own career field, but it can also be the source of opportunities in unexpected places. From a professional standpoint, it’s always best to have personal connections in your career, as well as those of fields that are closely related. It will give you a depth that others will not be able to match. Since they’re in related fiends you can call on these friends to help you provide resources to your employer.
Creating Friendships With People Who Are In Completely Different Majors
You should also want to create friendships with people who are in majors that are completely unrelated. Opportunity often comes from unexpected directions, and it can sometimes be fields that are completely unrelated to what it is you are doing.
This can be especially important if you are in a career field with general application, like accounting or engineering or information technology. Virtually every industry and business needs people with those backgrounds, and by making connections now with people in diverse fields, you’ll give yourself plenty of contacts across a wide range of potential employers.
Creating Friendships With Professors
Though it’s sometimes hard to imagine, professors are people just like you and the other students are. That should be easier to grasp since you are already an adult. Making friends with professors is not only a way to get quality references, but you may also find yourself in need of professional advice after graduation.
Sooner or later you’ll hit on a problem or project at work that will be beyond your education. If you have a friendship with a professor in that field, a quick phone call might solve a major problem – and make you end up looking like a hero to your employer or your employer’s client.
Creating Friendships With People With Shared Interests
Sometimes professional opportunities come as a result of being friends with people who you have shared interests with. For example, if you are an IT major, and a few years after school a shared interest friend develops a new business idea and needs an IT person, you may be the person he or she brings in to fill the role.
Creating Friendships With People Just Because You Like Them
Mutual affection is the primary reason why you’d be friends with anyone. All career considerations aside, you’ll need people to fill that role throughout your life. Even though that person can’t help you with professional problems, just the fact that they’re there for emotional support can help you get over a rough patch in life. And we all need friends for exactly that purpose.
The point is, you have some control over who you make friends with. University is probably the best possible environment to make friends with the widest number of people – it’s when everyone is the most open to friendships. To the degree possible, choose to make friendships that will survive university. That will pay “dividends” for the rest of your life.