The following is from The Freshman Survival Guide
You will find so many good people on a college campus - friends that will last a lifetime. But you will also find people that could drag you down and keep you from finding your full potential.
Here are six kinds of people to watch out for:
1. The constant Crisis - These are friends that are always in a state of crisis. They constantly need you to listen to their problems and they never seem to be free of them. With these friends, you may want to encourage them to campus services (such as counseling) and surround them with more friends than just you so that you are not their only source of help.
2. The Joker - It is natural to tease your friends and you should expect to be teased, but when you seem to be constantly at the wrong end of the joke, you may want to find friends that are more encouraging.
3. The Furious Friend - Watch out for friends that escalate easily - especially if they lash out, throw things, or punch walls. These tendencies grow when a person is stressed, and college designed to be stressful.
4. The Liability (aka: You're not their mother!) - Some friends will never clean up after themselves and will leave you messes to take care of. Let someone else be their mother.
5. The "No" Friend - These are friends that always want to do what they want to do and never what you want to do. They never want to compromise and they expect you to do what they want. You don't have follow such a person. There is a lot of people on the campus that share your interests - finds them.
6. The Arm-Twister - It is good for friends to encourage you to try new things, but it is not good when you are pressured to go outside your comfort zone and compromise your values. They may nag you or make fun of you in order to get you to do as they want. You want to grow as a person, but you do not want to become someone that you don't want to be.
The point is, don't get locked into just one group of friends. Find the people that will help you grow and do not feel guilty about passing over those that are holding you back.
But how do you disengage with people that are trying to monopolize your time? Here are 3 things you might try:
1. Get busy. - Join a club or try an activity. It will not only give you an excuse to leave the toxic friend, but will give you a bigger pool of people to choose from - many of whom will share your interests.
2. Branch out together - Because most toxic relationships are isolating - meaning that they are demanding your time in exclusion of other people - you should open up your friend group. Invite others to join you (even if the toxic friend is against it). Develop a larger friend pool so that the toxic friend can't just focus on you.
3. Let your feelings be known - Communicate your thoughts. Don't be afraid to say when you do not like something or that you want to hang out with other people. Don't talk about them behind their back or gossip about them - it will come back to haunt you. Instead, be clear about what you want. You can say something like "I came to college to expand my horizons and networks, and right now it seems like this is the best way for me to achieve that."
One college student summarized this by saying: "Your friends have an enormous influence on the person you are and the person you'll become. Choose them carefully, and choose friends that are like the person you hope to be."
The following is from: The Freshman Survival Guide
Dr. Richard Kadison, chief of Harvard University Mental Health Services gives this advice to college freshmen: "Being an independent adult doesn't mean going it alone. Part of being mature is learning when to share problems and concerns and when to ask for help."
When Stress or loneliness starts to get the best of you, fight back by reaching out.
The 5 best ways to meet new people in college (according to students):
1. Get involved. You're not going to meet people by sitting in your room watching TV - you have to get out there. Try going to smaller events that allow for more one-on-one interactions.
2. Live in a a dorm. There are all sorts of great reasons to live off campus, depending on the university, but when you first get there you'll find no better way to meet people than to live in the dorms.
3.Keep an open door. Keeping your dorm room door open when you're there increases your opportunities to connect with other people on your floor.
4. Take classes with strangers. If you hang out with someone random from your one random class in the dining hall, then you'll meet their friends and your social network just increased threefold.
5. Eat in the dining hall. A ton of people are always there, and you can almost always find someone sitting alone. Also, if you can't find someone new, there is almost always someone you know to sit with.
- Chat with people in the dining-hall line who seem interesting and ask to sit with them when you all get your food. That way you're all at the same part of the meal. There is nothing worse than sitting down when everyone else is about to get up.
- Ask someone you recognize (from class, orientation, extracurricular activities, and so on) and would like to get to know better.
- Stick to the big tables. Must of the time people who sit at the small tables do so for a reason. Go to the big tables and try to sit with a diverse group of people who look like they're all having a good time.
Here is some advice from the Freshman Survival Guide about making friends in college.
"Making good friends in college is important, but it takes time. Be patient, be smart, and stay connected to your support network - the friends and family who helped get you this far."
It took years to develop the relationships you have at home - do not expect to find this kind of closeness overnight when you arrive at college. "You've been through tough times with your old friends and have learned their strengths and weaknesses. You trust them because they've proven themselves trustworthy. They know and keep your secrets, and you know and keep theirs."
A common mistake new college students make is to create false relationships with the new people they are now sharing their lives with. These new relationships can quickly begin to feel "old" because you are spending so much of your time with them, but in reality they can be an artificial intimacy. "These new friends need to earn your trust. Don't just give it to them. The people you meet in your first few weeks of school may be great, some of them may turn out to be the best friends of your life, and some of them may turn out to be criminals (seriously)". As you progress through the school year, you will begin to realize which ones are gems and which ones are jerks. "Remain open to new friendships, but wait until you get to know people a little before you loan them your car, give them all your passwords, or share your deepest secrets with them."
"There is a tendency to settle in with the first group you meet." They offer peer support while you are going through the overwhelming start of this new adventure. It may feel like they are the only ones that understand what you are going through, so you stick with them. "But the people you choose to be friends with can make a huge difference in nearly every aspect of college life: study habits, interactions with other groups of people, how you spend your free time. Choose carefully and remember you can make a new choice anytime."
A good rule of thumb is that you will become like those you hang out with. If you find that you are constantly socializing and not able to get homework done, look for friends that are more academic in focus. If you find you are studying so much that you want to scream, look for friends that are more social. Balance these groups together and don't get stuck in just one style. And most of all, do not allow the connections you make to compromise the person you are and who you want to be. Remember, this is a small part of your life - don't let anyone or anything change you in ways you do not want to be changed.