The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

No such thing as “friends at first sight”

Despite pressure to do so, it’s impossible to meet all of your best friends right as you enter college
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Meeting close friends in college will happen, just not in ways you expect.

As a first-year student who hasn’t been on campus for a full month, I can confidently say that I haven’t found my footing yet. It feels as though everyone around me has a large group of friends, is used to living here and has accomplished everything they’ve ever hoped for. 

Of course, this isn’t the case for any incoming freshman, but my mind is telling me otherwise.  

When a freshman enters college, the first thing they try to do is find friends. Most of us have been told by parents, siblings and college graduates we’ll find our best friends while living away from home for the next four years.

There’s constant reassurance that “you’ll find your group,” or to “just give it time.” But patience eventually wears thin and leaves incoming students wondering why they haven’t met their lifelong partners-in-crime yet.  

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In this instance, the phrase “give it time” is truly the best answer. When thinking about it, people won’t instantly become close with people they have known for a day, or even a month for that matter. 

It takes years and different seasons to actually find close friends. Plus, even when you do find people you finally click with, there’s always opportunities to make more friends as the years progress.  

Upperclassmen reading this are most likely laughing and rolling their eyes hearing about freshmen who are struggling to find friends. 

They know their time of stressfully trying to find people who enjoy being in their company is long gone, and they are comfortable with the friends they have, while still making some new ones along the way.

At least, that is what a first-year student looking in from the outside thinks. 

Based on experience throughout high school and this far into college, I’ve learned sometimes it’s not always about needing to find friends right away.

There’s a bit of comfort in being alone sometimes – a feeling most people who jump right into college life may not realize. 

While instantly trying to gain best friends and people who get you may seem like the right idea at the time, the best medicine for making friends is by being patient and working on yourself at the same time.

Everyone is coming into college with a clean slate, but also a messy background, and it’s best to focus on getting yourself into the right individual mindset to move forward.  

Emphasis on the individual part.

Being in a pack of people doesn’t make your own problems any less messy.  

But at some point, the dust will settle, and the people you genuinely want to surround yourself with will rise out of the ashes. The closest friends are often found in unexpected situations.

The people you cry with, laugh with, go through traumatic experiences with and know all your flaws but stick around anyway will be the ones who end up next to you at the finish line known as graduation. 

Because sooner than later, we’ll be receiving our diplomas, looking back on our lives as Blugolds, and realizing that our parents were right – we did find our life long best friends at UW-Eau Claire… just not a month into freshman year.  

Hokanson can be reached at [email protected].

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Hailey Hokanson
Hailey Hokanson, Staff Writer
Hailey Hokanson is a first-year business communications student. This is her first semester on the Spectator. Whenever she isn't busy playing tennis or joining everything on campus, Hailey enjoys watching sports, listening to Taylor Swift, reading random books and wishing she had chosen a warmer state for college.

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