What I Wish I Would’ve Known: It’s OK to Have Multiple Friend Groups

By Amanda Ferrara, Student at New York University

I wish someone would have told me that the same, old high school “clique system” that we are all used to does not apply to college life.

I walked into my new room expecting to become instant best friends with my roommate because it seemed like the perfect setup: You have a live-in, new friend who was paired with you based on “compatibility." You have someone who you can coordinate walks to class with, go to dinner with and sit next to at weekend sporting events. I tried to befriend my new roommate and everywhere one of us went, the other would follow.

I soon learned that this is not the best strategy because you are automatically limiting the amount of new people that you could meet and become friends with, whether you acknowledge it or not.

My other expectation was that my roommate and I would find a group of new friends to join us in doing everything we did and going everywhere we went. I was prepared to find that group to travel with, the people I would dine with every day and the friends I would plan my calendar of social activities with. Being a senior now, I finally realize how wrong I actually was.

I wish I would have known the truth: College is not about finding an exclusive, close knit group of friends like you had in high school. It is perfectly fine to have friends from every social circle and for all of your friends to not know each other. By not limiting yourself to one elite group, you are allowing yourself to explore relationships with a bunch of different people and to be exposed to a lot of different opportunities.

My advice to incoming freshmen is to remain open to friendships and to invitations. You do not need to eat lunch with the same people every day or spend every Friday night in the same friend’s dorm room. Remember that while it is completely okay to have “best friends," that does not mean that they will be your only close friends.

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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