Finding a Family on Campus

Written by Hamy Huynh

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[Photograph credits: Brian Nguyen Photography] 

 

My freshman year of college was all about meeting new people and befriending anyone that I had even the slightest thing in common with. Let’s face it, nobody wanted to eat lunch alone nor did anyone want to be standoffish. But with so many superficial friendships that were made with the simple intention of not wanting to be a loner, I had a really hard time differentiating between a convenient friend from a real one. What’s the difference, you ask?

Convenient friends are the people who you’re in close proximity with and those who you associate with when you need something from one another. Whether that be not sitting alone at lunch, having a familiar face in the club room, or a buddy to partner up with during class, they’re the ones that you see only in certain environments and you both don’t try to see each other outside of said environment. As I like to say, these kinds of friendships are superficially beneficial.

Real friends on the other hand, are those who are willing to put up with your nonsense without judgement, celebrate you and your life achievements, try to spend quality time with you, and those who add light to your life instead of taking away from it. With this type of friendship, not only do you have a mutual beneficiation, but it’s also highly intentional.

Now as a sophomore, I think I’ve finally distinguished the difference between these two types of friendships. It took a lot of trial and error, but I’ve found a solid group of friends who became a family to me, right here at the University of Minnesota. With over 1,000 different student groups, hundreds of different majors and minors, and a student body of over 30,000 people, the University of Minnesota is the place to create long-lasting friendships.