Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

November 18, 2006 10:21 AM

Importance of Friendships

Friends are essential in life. They help you when you need it, listen to whatever you have to say (funny, annoying, sad, embarrassing, serious, and so on), laugh with you, talk with you….they are the people you choose to spend your time with, share your secrets with, and just have fun with.

Yet sometimes, friendships can be hard to form and to maintain, especially when coming to college. I was fortunate enough to have several good friends from high school come to Cal so that I wouldn’t feel like I was lonely. At the same time, I worried how I would maintain friendships with many of my other friends and develop new friendships.

Maintaining friendships means keeping in touch with the person every so often. It might be hard for some people (me again), but not very for others. I’ve found out that reunions over winter/spring break and summer are actually a great way to keep in touch. Everyone just shares experiences with everyone; it’s a great way to catch up and to create wonderful memories. It’s just so fun, and to see people you haven’t seen for a year (or maybe less). Sending snail mail is fun too (because everyone likes to get something in their mailbox in the old-fashioned way once in a while), so if time, send cards or care packages! Other ways, of course, is through Facebook, AIM, or any type of online network that connect you to your old and new friends.

Truthfully, I’m not the best at making friends. I tend to be very quiet and secluded, not that I don’t want to make friends, but that I have a difficult time to put myself out there to people, to introduce myself, and try to find something to talk about without awkward silences. The whole entire process can be tiring and draining – remembering people’s names and their majors or what they were like…it’s hard for someone like me! I remember that many of my friends I made in middle school was from asking people around me what was on the board because I couldn’t see very well. Here in college, perhaps the same method would work, but with people sitting with people they already know and leaving seats in between “groups” of people, it’s kind of hard to disrupt the pattern (again, it’s just for me). Regardless, I have made a couple of new friends, but it also takes work to make sure that the friendship doesn’t fizzle and become one of those “I remember her in my class…I don’t see her very much anymore” kind of acquaintances.

Everyone has his/her way to making new friends and maintaining friendships. For instance, my sister, who is extremely vivacious and outgoing, makes friends really easily. In the end, no matter how many friends you have, they are the people who enrich your life.

Irene Liao | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (0)

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