Norths & Wests is a new segment of the NBN Opinion section focusing on displaying opposing opinions on a certain topic. In this article, opinion editors Mya and Abigail discuss how to approach first-year friendships and whether or not they will last until the end of the year. After a full three quarters under our belts, we found ourselves in different friend group situations and wanted to present our take on being social during freshman year.
Mya Copeland: First year friendships aren’t all that
OK, call me a pessimist. But I really don’t think your first quarter friends need to be your #BestiesForTheResties. And maybe it’s just because I haven’t found that group of girlies I can spend all my time with and never eat an anxious meal alone ever again, but I think there’s a lot about college that changes during the first year.
Somewhere in the adrenaline-filled first few weeks of college, you’ll collect people (your next-door neighbor, that kid who you did a really awkward icebreaker with on the first day of class, the person from your PA group whose last name starts with the same letter as yours) and start getting dinner together. But then, if you’re anything like me, those people will inevitably start to drift.
That is OK. I hang out with the same two people every day – and one of them is my roommate, so, to be fair, we are kinda stuck together. I still eat lunch with people and chat in class, but I don’t have that picture-perfect college friend group.
Everyone seems to tell you your first friends will never last. And maybe that’s a little too strong, but I felt a lot of pressure at the beginning of the year to find a big friend group. Now that I’ve got a few quarters under my belt, I can confidently say I’m doing fine, even without that perfect group.
My Fall quarter friends are still around. I say hi to the people I met on my first night at Northwestern, but we’re not constantly talking or hanging out. I don’t think they’ll be in my wedding (a claim I see often in various Instagram captions).
At the end of the day, I’m not too worried about not finding my people just yet. I’m involved in so many clubs and meet so many people there. Everything is still a bit of a blur. I’m OK just spending time with the few people I know have been there for me so far. Even if that means I haven’t met my future bridesmaids just yet.
Abigail Lev: My first year friends are my best friends
Here’s my deal: I am still friends with those who I met on pretty much the first day of college. I know so many people don’t have that experience or go through a falling out with their first friends, yada yada. But for me, that just didn’t happen in the slightest.
Coming into college, I talked to my older friends looking for advice – the ones who had already experienced their first year of college – and the consensus was: Everything works out… except for your first friends.
So, the first week of school, when my roommate and I invited a group of people to our room, I didn’t expect the relationships to last. We had met them through various methods: Hillel, meetups, mutual home friends. I gathered everyone together and took a selfie. (I know, super “first week of school!!!” of me.)
Now, at the end of my first year, I am scrolling through my camera roll. I find this same photo: the selfie with those who are now my #besties. It has been eight months of watching “How to Build a Sex Room” with Melanie Rose and passing out in McCulloch 331 at all hours of the night. I share these memories with the very people I met in the first week of school.
I don’t think everyone will stay friends. But I firmly believe that there is no reason to go into the first few weeks of school completely disregarding any hope of a long term friendship with those who you immediately meet.
Let’s face it: I am so glad I didn’t prance into Northwestern with the mindset that every relationship would be superficial. If I had, my year definitely would have been different. I can safely say I trust these people with everything – from calming me down from a panic attack at 3 a.m. to manically laughing with me ‘till we pee ourselves.